Boards continue to explore crosswalk safety

Lantana fresh water supply district officials continued their discussion regarding improving safety at a school crosswalk after an accident involving a child occurred in April.

During a special joint FWSD #6 & #7 meeting on May 10, board members received an update from Lantana General Manager Kevin Mercer on the situation at Lantana Trail and Stacee Lane.

Mercer told board members that the Sheriff’s Department had a deputy monitoring the intersection every morning and afternoon since the accident occurred.

He said that he had called the Sheriff’s Department about contracting for an off-duty deputy to help children cross the street, but they did not want to set a precedent by manning the crosswalk.

“They did agree to continue to have a unit at the intersection each morning and afternoon up through the first couple of weeks of school this fall.  Beyond that, there is no commitment by the sheriff to have someone out there,” said Mercer.

No other area police agency was interested in the crossing guard job either, according to Mercer.

In the meantime, anxious parents took the matter into their own hands by donning florescent vests and volunteering to assist children with crossing the street.

“If we have continued success with the parent volunteers it’s a great way to handle it,” said Mercer.

Richard Harned, the district controller, suggested that the boards consider including money to hire a crossing guard in their 2012-13 fiscal year budget, which begins on October 1.

Mercer also noted that construction will be complete this summer on the new section of the Bellaire neighborhood, so access to the pedestrian tunnel under Lantana Trail near the intersection will not be hampered by roadwork.

Another option still on the table is to make the intersection a three-way stop.

There are currently no stop signs on Lantana Trail, which is a four-lane, divided thoroughfare that runs three miles through the middle of the master planned development and has a posted speed limit of 40 mph.

Both boards directed district staff to add the crosswalk topic to their June agendas for further discussion.


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