Students leaving the school grounds at 3:37 p.m. The road is a public street that some want closed or restricted. ©Provost News Photo.
“Safety Concern” With Traffic Between PPS Property — Principal
Principal of Provost Public School, Bob Hawriliuk says that with a new playground in operation there are now more students crossing a public road and that “we have a safety concern.”
He points out that some of the vehicles go past quite quickly.
The playground and the rest of the soccer field and track area are east of the school and students cross 45th Street to reach those school grounds.
Hawriliuk says that over the years people in vehicles have been using that road for a shortcut and once a student was nearly hit by a truck. “It’s not safe.”
The PPS principal says there’s potential there for a problem and “we want to deal with it before anything happens.”
Noon hours and recess are the busiest times for traffic in the area with young students crossing the road although after school the playground area gets use as well.
He says an answer would be to restrict the road to traffic from approximately 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and suggested that a chain could be put across the road during that time. He acknowledges that the town controls the public road.
Presently a sign near the north part of the road reads “Bus & staff parking only” with another sign nearby that reads “Authorized vehicles only.” Another sign is at the other end.
Parent Dorene Slater says that it would be nice to do something to make the road safer for students. She said that the school council asked the Town of Provost to close the road but that request was declined.
Slater was nearby on the first day of school when she saw a truck travelling on the road “and the kids were going in front of him. They were too excited to stop” to watch for traffic.
Principal of nearby STA School, Jean McClean says that their safety patrols have been helpful to control their students when vehicles are “zooming by”. She said that sometimes there is congestion with parents parking vehicles nearby but that situation has improved since it was requested to park on the north side of their one-way street. The street traffic in front of the school moves in an easterly direction. School bus students from STA walk a short distance to load on the street beside PPS.
Mayor Ken Knox confirmed that a request to close the public street was declined by town council. He said that permission would have to be obtained from the Minister of Transportation and pointed out that if the street is closed, even bus traffic would not be allowed on that road. “If you close the street, you close the street.”
Knox acknowledges a potential problem there and noted special signs are up that relate to bus, staff and authorized vehicles only. “We are trying to discourage public travel during school hours”, but as it stands this is a request only. He agreed that with a new playground there will be more children crossing the road to get to it.
Knox says that they have not posted anyone there to monitor the situation to see how much use there is of the road during school hours. He told The News that most of the extra traffic is from local people going between the school property rather than going farther around. He suggested that part of that situation may stem from a one-way street going east and west in front of STA School. That street was made one-way many years ago because of traffic safety concern in that area.
The mayor believes that the school council will be back to ask about the issue again.
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