After fighting the proposal since 2010, the Riverside District 96 Board of Education voted recently to share equally in the cost for crossing guards provided by the village of Riverside.
It’s the right decision.
We have always maintained that both the village and school district’s shared the responsibility for getting their students to school safely. State law allows school districts to fund crossing guards provided by a municipality and municipalities are under no obligation to provide crossing guards at all.
This compromise will cost District 96 just a fraction of its operating budget (far less than the village’s) and will continue to provide for the safety of elementary school students traveling back and forth from school every day.
In the meantime, we’re interested to see what the solution will be for crossing pedestrians before and after school at First and Forest avenues this fall. Riverside-Brookfield High School starts class in just two weeks, and construction on the north side of First and Forest won’t be done.
That’s going to make crossing tricky, since it will involve three crossing locations — at Groveland Avenue, First Avenue and Ridgewood Road.
In an area where congestion is making motorists impatient, adding several hundred pedestrians and as many vehicles to the mix on school days is going to be a real challenge.
We can only hope that a visible police presence will be part of the solution to rein in motorists and increase safety.