West Vancouver crosswalk flag program protects kids

Parents say there have been a number of too-close-for-comfort calls at an intersection near an elementary school.

'Over the last 6 years my kids have almost been hit several times'

Parent Tarron Falk (left) and School Principal Judy Duncan hope the brightly coloured flags act as a deterrent for drivers who would may otherwise blow past stop signs. (Elaine Chau / CBC)

Students crossing the intersection of Mathers Avenue and Thompson Crescent in West Vancouver to get to a nearby elementary school have a new crosswalk program because parents say too many children have nearly been hit by cars.

Children grab one of four flags sitting in containers at either side of the crosswalk and carry them to the other side before dropping them in the other container.

The flags, which have reflective tape on them, act as a visible reminder for drivers to stop at the stop signs.

Many drivers ignore the stop signs, says one parent who volunteers at the crosswalk.

"When I'm here with my outfit and my sign, they pay attention but when I'm not, they just roll right through them," said Terron Falk, whose children attend Cypress Park Primary.

He says it's been an ongoing problem and the city has been slow to help.

"Over the last 6 years my kids have almost been hit several times — sometimes it's a couple of times a month," he said.

"Cities don't acquiesce to your desires over night. You have to present arguments. You have to present facts. You have to get budgets approved."

That's when the school and parents took matters into their own hands and created the crosswalk flag program.

"We're actually teaching children to cross the street safely regardless of [whether] they have a flag or not," said school principal Judy Duncan.

Falk says he and other parents will continue pushing the city for improvements to the intersection, including the installation of a flashing light crosswalk.

To listen to the full interview, click the link labelled: Crosswalk flag program a last ditch effort to protect kids says parent.

With files from Elaine Chau


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