Windsor

Safety risk doesn't deter students from crossing Huron Church

Some students at Assumption College Catholic High School are crossing Huron Church and bypassing the overpass put in place for them to do so.

Despite safety concerns, students favour crossing road on Huron Church rather than use cross walk

Students at Assumption High neglect Huron Church pedestrian bridge in favour of crossing at street level. (Aadel Haleem/CBC News)

Some students at Assumption College Catholic High School are crossing Huron Church at street level and neglecting the overpass put in place.

Few of them are using the $4 million pedestrian bridge that was built in 2005.

Instead, many are jaywalking across the truck-congested road.

There's no shortage of signs urging pedestrians to use the overpass instead of crossing at the light.

But 10 years after it was built, many opt to take the quicker route by darting across Huron Church, even against a red light.

"I've seen a girl almost get clipped by a transport truck," said Dylan Miles, a Grade 9 student at Assumption High. "She was walking and then she didn't look. She was just talking to her friend and her friend grabbed her just in time before she got hit by the truck."

But, even that didn't deter Miles from doing it himself.

"Some kids might take the overpass because it's safer," he said. "But if I need to get somewhere quick, I'll just go across the street."

That means a few close calls for the students, including Shane Courtland. "A few times, yes, (my friend) had to save my life," he said. "A couple more steps and I would have been hit."

Ed Trymbulak lives across the street from the school.

"I can't believe one of them hasn't been run over," he said. "You see how they run to the middle and then try and dodge in between the traffic."

Leena Spencer, a grade 10 student at Assumption, said she'd like to see school officials patrol the sidewalks.

"Everyday we have an end of the day prayer and they always tell us to use the overpass," she said.

Joseph Ibrahim is the school's principal and said the situation is difficult for the school to control.

"Unfortunately, sometimes students don't listen to that and they either cross here or if we re-direct them, they walk further north or south and cross at other locations which in fact be a little more dangerous," he said.

Ibrahim said Windsor Police have been called in on occasion.

"We are aware that students choose to not use the pedestrian cross walk," said Sgt. Matthew D'Asti with Windsor Police. "We know it's an extremely dangerous stretch of road way. All it takes is one student to misjudge the speed of a vehicle."

Ibrahim and police have also had conversations with parents, some of whom say their children are old enough to make their own decisions.

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