A crossing guard will remain posted on McCord Road near two Sylvania schools for the rest of the current school year to encourage pupils to walk or bike to classes.
At the same time, a Safe Routes to School study covering all four schools within the city limits is about to begin and should produce recommendations by summer's end, a city official said.
In response to parents' concerns about pedestrian safety, city council agreed a year ago to pay for a crossing guard at McCord's intersection with Copper Smith Road and Gaines Mill Drive, near McCord Junior High and Sylvan Elementary schools. The guard was proposed as an interim measure while officials looked into other ways to improve safety along McCord.
“I don't think it was council's intention to cut it off at the end of March,” Mayor Craig Stough said last week in recommending that the city extend its agreement with the Sylvania Board of Education to pay for the guard through the current semester's end, scheduled for June 8.
Superintendent of Schools Brad Rieger said the guard cost $5,684 for the full year, and continuing until June will cost another $1,429.
“It seems to be working well. The crossing guard's been successful,” the superintendent said, estimating about 30 pupils walk to school every day and foreseeing an increase once warmer weather arrives.
City council last year hired DGL Consulting Engineers, LLC, of Maumee to do the Safe Routes to School study for McCord, Sylvan, and Maplewood and Highland elementaries. The studies' completion would make Sylvania eligible for state funding for any recommended improvements, which could include new sidewalks, better signs, crosswalk upgrades, or similar work.
City council had balked at spending $11,100 to study just the McCord situation, but later authorized up to $15,000 for the studies after learning all four schools within Sylvania would be included.
Mayor Stough said that while a report should be received by the time the 2010-2011 school year starts in late August, “any recommended improvements are unlikely to be made by then.”