Parents and community members gathered to show their concern for children’s safety this morning, holding signs protesting the lack of safety measures present at the intersection of Honeycutt Road and Maricopa Groves Parkway.
Currently, there is no cross walk, crossing guard or stop light to help navigate children across the four-lane arterial road on their way to and from Butterfield Elementary School.
However, the city of Maricopa has responded to the issue saying that they have ordered a temporary stop light, but that it won’t be operational for at least 30 days.
That is not soon enough for the concerned parents.
“What are children to do for the next 30 days,” said Starla Waggner, a parent of a second grader at the school, who believes the city needs to do something now. “They can put some temporary stop signs out there and get a crossing guard.”
Waggner isn’t alone in her concerns. Janalle Lindseth, a resident of The Villages at Rancho El Dorado who was among the picketers, said,” We need to make this area safer. We need cross walks, crossing guards and school zones.”
Lindseth was not only acting as a protestor this morning, but she was helping kids cross the busy intersection.
“I’ve been out here for 30 minutes and in that time I have helped about 15 children across the intersection,” Lindseth said.
The school district has recommended that children do not cross the intersection, but instead take a bus across the road.
Parents don’t agree with this solution either.
“It is a further walk to the bus stop than to the school, and these buses are often late,” Waggner said.
Lindseth added that if kids take the bus they won’t get to school early enough to eat breakfast.
The protestors stated that they believe the reason that there are no safety precautions in place is because of a lack of foresight by the school district and the city.
“How could you not see this problem coming,” Waggner asked rhetorically.
Community members and parents were not the only ones observing the hectic scene this morning. Maricopa Councilman Carl Diedrich was there to take in the potential hazards of the situation.
“I have seen kids crossing in areas other than the intersection. I have seen cars going faster than the speed limit. There is no control here,” Diedrich said.
“I am a parent and frankly I wouldn’t want my child to cross here.”
Diedrich said he plans on taking what he observed back to the mayor, but that it may be difficult to get something done quickly because of the slow pace of government.