(Publisher’s Note: Please note the accidents happened on Freer Road. The story has been updated to reflect the correct road name.)
Two students in two weeks have been hit by cars at the crosswalk on
Fletcher Freer Road near Washington Street in front of the Chelsea High School.
In both cases, according to information, well-meaning drivers waved the children across the road and they were hit. And although neither sustained life-threatening injuries, Superintendent of Schools Andy Ingall said Monday night that he’d spoken with Mayor Jason Lindauer, City Manager John Hanifan and Police Chief Ed Toth to discuss possible ways to improve the situation.
Ingall said Monday night at the School Board meeting that “the city is initiating a review of the timing of the lights,” with its traffic engineer MCI.
He said that pedestrians have 22 seconds to cross the road at the crosswalk, but officials will look at lighting in the area as well as the crossing signal.
“The city will be looking into additional pedestrian warning beacons for that crossing,” Hanifan said via email on Tuesday, adding, “Will also review the photometric plan to enhance lighting.”
Ingall said that there are three elements to involved in the situation — engineering, education and enforcement. The city is looking into the engineering, and that drivers and pedestrians should “obey the traffic signals and let them do their job.”
Hanifan agreed that education is a critical piece. “Drivers need to obey traffic rules and be further attentive and alert in and around schools and major pedestrian crossings.”
Also, there is a Safe Routes to Schools Kickoff meeting this week, and the city will be looking to partner with Chelsea Schools and the Wellness Foundation for this initiative.
This four-way intersection has traffic coming from four directions.
Ingall said the schools are reminding students, teachers, and bus drivers to obey the traffic light, and Chelsea Police have been on Washington and on Freer for enforcement of traffic laws and speeds in that area.
City officials are expected to get together again next week to assess the situation.