New raised cross walk is now in use.
A new elevated cross walk has been installed adjacent to Holy Family School on Maple Street in Hannibal, much to the delight of at least two mothers who were waiting for school to be dismissed on Thursday afternoon.
“Any addition that will make it safer for children is beneficial,” said Karen Myers, whose was waiting to pick up her first grader, Jack. “To go over it (cross walk) you have to go at a slower rate, so it can’t do anything but have a positive effect.”
“It’s not bad,” said Tena Richardson, who was waiting in a vehicle for her eighth-grade son, Corey. “It slows the traffic down.”
The new asphalt cross walk was installed Wednesday by the Street Department after being approved by the City Council during its Sept. 4 meeting. The raised walking area is considered a safety measure to slow down traffic for students of the school who regularly cross Maple en route to a playground, and to waiting vehicles on the west side of Maple.
While students are likely using the new cross walk during the school day before and after recess, it was of little benefit after school. Only a handful of students used the cross walk to reach a waiting vehicle. Since many vehicles were left by parents in the parking lot west of Maple, most pedestrians were crossing in a straight line between the drive way behind Holy Family gym and the lot, rather than take an indirect route in order to use the cross walk.
That raises the question: Is a stop sign also needed on Church Street to better protect walkers not using the cross walk from vehicles turning from Church onto Maple? That possibility, which was recommended by the Traffic Committee, was discussed by the Council, but was not acted upon.
Richardson and Myers had differing opinions regarding the installation of a stop sign.
“Definitely a stop sign is needed. Absolutely,” said Richardson. “During the day, not having one could be a major issue.”
“Initially it (a stop sign) sounded great, but with the incline on Church Street, when it’s slick it would be hard to get going again after stopping. There’s a stop sign on Church a block over (at Grand Avenue) and I’ve gotten stuck there. It was horrible,” said Myers.
The safety measures taken on Maple by the school will be re-examined by the Council following a 90-day period.