Saskatoon students want changes to 'scary' school crossing

Students from St. Mary's School joined other residents of Pleasant Hill this week at city council, pushing for safer crossings on 20th Street. Numerous children must cross the busy artery daily to reach the school.

Urging city to move pedestrian light closer to St. Mary's School

Motorists routinely sail through this intersection. St. Mary's Wellness and Education Centre sits just south of it, on Avenue N, but students say walking to school can be scary. There are no school zones marked along this section of 20th Street, and the nearest pedestrian-activated lights are two blocks away from the school. (CBC)
They may attend one of the most beautiful new schools in Saskatoon, but students at St. Mary Wellness and Education Centre say getting there is risky.

Grade Seven student Elisheba Taysup-Edmunds says it's dangerous trying to cross 20th Street at Avenue N South.

"It's a very busy street and scary for everybody," she told Saskatoon city council this week. 

"Whenever we'd have to cross the street on 20th for field trips, some kids would go and then the other kids would have to wait because the cars wouldn't stop," Taysup-Edmunds said. "The drivers just ignore the pedestrians."

Raine Iron (left) and Elisheba Taysup-Edmunds are among hundreds of students at St. Mary's Wellness and Education Centre urging the City of Saskatoon to make crossing the streets near their school safer. (CBC)
314 students and parents in Pleasant Hill have signed a petition urging the city to reduce traffic speeds in the area.

Two years ago, St. Mary's moved to a new location a block east of its old school grounds. However, the city has not moved pedestrian-activated traffic lights at Avenue O South. 

Saskatoon's mayor and council asked traffic officials to review the intersection Monday, and to consider moving the lights.

Students and members of the Pleasant Hill Community Association say it's a matter of time until a child is struck by a vehicle at 20th Street and Avenue N South. Numerous cars squeeze through in the right-hand turning lane, to get ahead of vehicles which have stopped at the unmarked pedestrian intersection.

"I see kids trying to get across," said Grade Eight student Raine Iron. "But some cars mostly don't stop. I think they're ignoring them because there's no crosswalk sign."

He and his classmates also want the city to consider extending St. Mary's school zone to slow traffic along 20th Street.