Concerns about Kaukauna intersection opens discussion on crossing guards

Published: Oct. 20, 2019 at 9:59 PM CDT
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Drivers blowing through any stop sign creates a dangerous situation, but when it's an intersection young kids use often to get to and from school, people living nearby start to worry.

"My friend that has a boy that walks across the street to school every day,” said Angela Fischer. “She messaged me a couple times saying that he almost got hit by people not even paying attention."

So Fischer, who lives right across the street from Quinney Elementary School in Kaukauna, decided to observe the four-way stop by her house.

She was shocked.

"It's crazy just how many people go through the stop sign,” said Fischer. "There's quite a bit of kids that have to walk down this street to get to and from school."

Fischer took videos of her own and posted them to Facebook, calling for a crossing guard to be put at West Ann Street and Sullivan Avenue.

"It's disturbing to see how many in that video, how many people are blowing that stop sign,” said Kaukauna Mayor Tony Penterman.

But adding more crossing guards isn't a simple task.

"It would be nice to get more crossing guards to get our kids safely across the street to go to school,” said Penterman. “We struggle with that."

Penterman says it's always a struggle each school year to fill crossing guard positions. Some people say they're concerned about potential safety risks, and for others the hours simply don't work with their schedule.

Each year in Kaukauna crossings are evaluated to see where guards are needed most. Penterman has spoken with Fischer, and both of them believe that at the intersection by Quinney, a crossing guard shouldn’t be needed.

"A stop sign means stop, it's not a yield sign,” said Penterman. "I just encourage people, when they're in a school zone slow down, give yourself enough time to get where you're going... it's just not worth it."

"If everybody was paying attention and would stop before the crosswalk, you wouldn't need a crossing guard, it's a four-way stop,” said Fischer.

Fischer hopes even if a crossing guard can't be put at that intersection, some bolder painted lines could be added to draw attention to the stop signs. Either way, she's glad that at least people are talking about it.

"It's nice knowing I'm not the only one worried,” said Fischer.

If there is an area you believe needs a crossing guard, contact the Kaukauna Police Department at (920) 766-6333.

Kaukauna’s crossing guards work an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon, but get paid an additional two hours for drive time. They are also given a $100 clothing allowance. The city is currently looking to hire some split-shift guards who could work either in the morning or afternoon. If you are interested or want to learn more, contact the Kaukauna Police Department or call the city’s human resources staff at 920-766-6375.

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