UXBRIDGE: A change in the busing of local students has resulted in the loss of a crossing guard in Goodwood.
Council voted at their meeting on the morning of Monday, Nov. 3, to remove the crossing guard at Hwy. 47 and Front St. in Goodwood due to a lack of students and the fact that all students now have busing privledges in the hamlet.
According to a report from Public Works Director Ben Kester, the crossing guard at that location in Goodwood has been there for over 20 years, and presently, approximately four students use this crossing in the morning and after school.
As well, Mr. Kester added that, "the amount of truck traffic and traffic in general on Hwy. 47, has made the site less than ideal for kids making their way to and from school, and since the students that use the crossing have bus privileges, the crossing can be removed."
With the school board providing bus transportation to students, Ward 2 Councillor Pat Molloy pondered if it was prudent of the town to continue offering the crossing guard in Goodwood.
"These students have bus transportation. Why are we providing something that the school board doesn’t seem to want?" asked Councillor Molloy.
According to Mr. Kester, student safety was at the forefront of the decision to allow busing to all students in the busy hamlet.
"The reason the school board would provide busing to all students in Goodwood is that they believe it isn’t safe," Mr. Kester explained.
Ward 1 Councillor Bev Northeast, who represents Goodwood on council was also in favour of the measure to eliminate the crossing guard.
"I would love to support (keeping) this. But, I feel that it’s not the safest mode of transportation for students in Goodwood. I don’t know how we can ignore safety, it’s impossible," said Councillor Northeast.
Eventually, council unanimously passed the recomendation in Mr. Kester’s report to remove the crossing guard at Hwy. 47 and Front St. in Goodwood following the Christmas Break, to allow parents and students time to adjust to the change.
"We're damned if we do, and damned if we don’t in this situation," commented Mayor Gerri Lynn O’Connor, weighing the benefits of walking to school against student safety.