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Albion village trying to go without crossing guard by school

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 September 2017 at 3:50 pm

ALBION – The village has notified the school district that there will no longer be a paid crossing guard in front of the middle school on Route 31.

Mayor Dean London said eliminating the part-time position will save $4,500 for the village. David Nayman was the crossing guard for many years, working an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon.

Village Police Chief Roland Nenni will study traffic flow and pedestrian safety this week without a crossing guard. If there is a need for a crossing guard, London said the village may pursue a partnership with the school district to help pay a part-time person or the village could try to recruit trained volunteers in the role.

“We certainly don’t want to put anyone’s safety in jeopardy,” London said today. “If it makes the most sense to have someone there then that’s the direction we will probably go.”

The mayor said the village is feeling budget constraints and is looking to trim costs wherever possible.

The Albion School District notified parents in a district-wide message at about 8:45 p.m. Sunday that there wouldn’t be a crossing guard in front of the school. London apologized for giving late notice to the school district about the change. (Albion police officers served as crossing guards for the two days of school last week.)

Today was the first day without a crossing guard. London said there was a clear bottleneck at the intersection of McKinistry Street and Route 31. It was difficult for motorists on McKinistry to make a left turn onto Route 31, he said.

The former Clarendon Street bridge used to absorb some of the school traffic, but since the bridge was removed about three years, more traffic now is on McKinistry.

London said students cross Route 31 at other spots and do fine without a crossing guard. The spot by McKinistry is clearly marked as a cross walk and drivers need to give pedestrians the right of way, London said.

Albion police will be closely watching this week to make sure pedestrians are safe and the traffic flows.

“If a crossing guard is needed we will find a way to do it,” he said.

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