The city traffic commission has debated the closing of Cedar Street between the parish school buildings for one block between Second and Third streets. The street is barricaded to protect children while crossing the street, or at times when students are playing in the street.
Ever since the former high school building on the west side became a grade school, part of the school on the east side, the street has been closed to traffic during school hours.
No one we talked to is aware of any accidents since the street was barricaded, beginning in the 1980s.
The commission has not taken any action at this point. It will meet with school officials in November to further discuss the issue.
To remove the barricades is going to pose a major safety issue for the children.
The city has an ordinance prohibiting children playing in the street. The Borgia situation is somewhat unique in that both schools are elementary schools and there is a need for children to cross the street at various times. During recess there are children playing in the street. We don’t believe the city has set a bad precedent by giving Borgia an exception to the ordinance banning playing in the street. What other schools, or neighborhoods are going to seek an exception?
It may be that the children in each building could be restricted to their side of the street during recess, but at other times there is a need for students to cross the street.
What the city permitted back in the 1980s has worked as far as safety is concerned. However, it’s true a vehicle out of control on Cedar Street could crash through the barricades. The fact that it hasn’t happened doesn’t mean it could not happen.
As suggested at the traffic meeting, a solution would be to leave the barricades up, perhaps improve them, but ask the school to enforce a rule of “no playing in the street during recess.”
That makes sense!