How do we get a School Crossing Guard?
I am often asked how the City decides which school crossing get a crossing guard. There is a procedure that is followed when we receive a request to install a guard.
School Crossing Guards are employed by the City of Mississauga to cross students age kindergarten to Grade 5 at locations where students cross that meet the warrant criteria for the implementation of a school crossing.
In Mississauga, Traffic Safety Council is the body charged with the responsibility for determining if the warrants are met for school crossing guard placement. On-site inspections are carried out by volunteer members of TSC accompanied by City and School Board staff. City staff, a member of City Council, School Board staff or any concerned citizen may make a request to Traffic Safety Council for the scheduling of a Site Inspection and Gap Study to determine if the warrants are met for the implementation of a school crossing. The location requested for study could be at an all way stop, a mid-block crossing or an intersection controlled by traffic control devices. Studies are scheduled for the half hour prior to school entry and the half hour after school dismissal.
At the Site Inspection and Gap Study, a Site Inspection Report is completed to record data specific to the site that then forms the basis for recommendations for changes to the location, if necessary. Recommendations for changes could include the addition or removal of signs or traffic control devices, removal of site obstructions such as tree limbs, requests for Parking or Police enforcement or the suggestion of an alternate safer route for students to use to access school property. The Gap Study is the objective measure used to determine if the warrants are met for the placement of a school crossing guard. The Study relies on engineering principles and observational skills as a basis for data recording. Data is recorded in five minute intervals and includes, using a stop watch, the number of safe gaps in traffic (as determined by a formula based on the width of the road and the average walking speed of students), the volume of traffic, and the number of students crossing. Also noted are observations on driver behaviour/compliance and any pedestrian/vehicle conflicts.
Based on the observations and data collected at the Site Inspection and Gap study, recommendations are made to Traffic Safety Council for the implementation, removal, or non-implementation of a school crossing or for changes to the site itself. These recommendations are further considered at General Committee and City Council before being adopted.
Further information regarding Mississauga Traffic Safety Council and the implementation of school crossing guards is available at: www.mississauga.ca/trafficsafetycouncil
Site Inspection and Gap Studies may be requested by contacting the Traffic Safety Council Coordinator at: 905-615-3200 extension 5423