Local residents frustrated with crosswalk and school pathway

May 23, 2024   ·   0 Comments

By Joshua Drakes

Homeowners and parents on Glengarry Ave. continue to express concern and frustration about a local crosswalk connecting their small street with the nearby Spencer Avenue Elementary School.

A local Glengarry resident, whose child attends the nearby school, said that close calls with motorists and kids are a common occurrence.

She said that the sidewalk and crossing are hard to spot because they lack any normal markings. There is no signage or normally seen white lines to indicate that it is, in fact, a crossing.

The Glengarry resident said that it’s especially dangerous because of the high volume of kids that pass through after the local school lets out for the day.

“We see so many cars not looking and even speeding when they drive through,” she said. “We hear parents screaming ‘stop’ at their kids before they walk into the street because they don’t look, and the cars don’t see them.”

The resident said the situation is made worse by parents who illegally park around the corner leading up to the crossing, and onto the crossing itself when picking up their kids from school. The tight space that results is challenging for vehicles to pass through and obscures most of the crossing.

The resident said that those illegally parked on the crossing are reluctant to move, and have even responded to her requests with animosity.

“They don’t seem to care if they block the road, if they park on an angle, or if they cover the crosswalk with their cars,” she said. “I saw one parent blocking the crossing, and when I said she couldn’t be parked there, she just replied ‘yeah’. I pressed her to move and she did, but the problem is that when they see you’re not there, they just come back and park again. They don’t care.”

The resident added that she has made these problems known to the Town of Orangeville, and has been pushing for more to be done for years. But any reaction from the town has been slow.

“I’ve been fighting to get something done with this crosswalk for years,” she said. “ I have done all the things I could; I have called the cops, I have called bylaw, I have sent aerial photos to the town.”

She said that she only received one type of answer from the town within that time.

“We’ll look into it.” she said.

After years of back and forth, the resident said she isn’t sure if fighting for a proper crosswalk is worth it now that her child will soon be graduating.

She said that closing the pathway and crosswalk altogether might be more beneficial for the community.

“If they were to close it, it might not be a bad thing,” she said. “I don’t know that I want to spend the rest of my years dealing with parents and worrying about kids at the crossing. So that’s kind of where we’re at. My husband said ‘Just let them close it, and then our street will become less scary for our kids.’”

This sense of resignation is shared by Krystyna Klimek, who also lives on Glengarry, and is directly beside the crosswalk and the connecting path to the school. She, along with her husband Peter, are senior residents who have lived there since before the school and path were built.

Klimek said that she would like to see the pathway closed down if nothing changes.

“We didn’t know this pathway or school would be here when we bought this house,” she said. “It’s frustrating. People park up and down the street and block people in their driveways. People drive too fast.”

She said that her property also has been littered on by kids from the school.

“We find trash in our yard, and we have to go out and collect it all to keep our yard tidy,” she said. “There isn’t a bin nearby for people to put garbage in, so it just gets left on the ground.”

She went to the city about the pathway and crossing but was informed that it was the school’s responsibility, but when she went to the school, she was told that it was city property. She was left confused about who to speak to.

“If no one wants to do anything about the cars, the crossing, or the people coming by, they should just close it and be done with it,” she said.

The township has since taken note of the issues and complaints surrounding the crossing and path.

Mallory Cunnington, communications manager for the Town of Orangeville, said that they are aware of the situation and are evaluating options.

“We have received concerns from homeowners in the area,” she said in a statement to the Citizen. “We have and continue to respond to any complaints received about parking and street crossing issues and we are patrolling the area regularly.”

She said that plans to reevaluate the area are also underway.

“To address concerns from the community, we are working with our private sector contractor, who is completing a traffic assessment in the area,” she said. “Following that, we will explore options to address the findings of that assessment, one of which could be a designated school crossing.”

Until a solution is put into action, however, safety concerns on Glengarry Ave. will persist as residents continue to struggle with the lack of a marked crosswalk amidst dangerous traffic.

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