BikePGH!

crossing guard appreciation thread

This topic contains 0 voices and has 62 replies.

Viewing 23 posts - 41 through 63 (of 63 total)
 
Author Posts
Author Posts

dwillen

Private Message

Dec 22 2010 at 5:40am #

it’s that in order to provide complete safety for children walking to work, cars would need to be practically banned, and that’s a step farther than we are willing to go.

That is nonsense. What about in all the cities that don’t have crossing guards? Children manage to make it to school without getting run over all the time. While I’m glad they are there (active traffic calming), I think it is sad we need so many crossing guards. Even the crossing guards get run over in Pittsburgh. What we need is enforcement of the traffic laws. Nothing will change until that happens. Pedestrians, crossing guards, cyclists, mothers pushing strollers will all be at risk as long as people continue to drive with disregard for the law and human life.


ieverhart

Private Message

Dec 22 2010 at 6:24am #

Many, many advertising dollars, some affecting content, can make even the chimp-butt ugly SUVs “attractive”. It’s the magic of TV!

Whenever I see a car commercial during a show I’m watching, I get somewhat ambivalent. I think “thanks for sponsoring this program I enjoy… but I don’t see myself buying your product any time soon, or ever, and I kind of wish you’d stop promoting it.”

@ Erok – Are you sure that first picture is from the 1950s? It looks more 1970s or maybe 1980s to me. And is the second one around the rail bridge near 30th Street?


Mick

Private Message

Dec 22 2010 at 6:33am #

@ahlir- I’m thinking the whole package of supervision and hiring (pricey stuff there), payroll clerks, hiring enough people so that when one person (or 5!) quits in a huff, you don’t have to close down. Payroll, taxes, insurance. All that stuff costs money – most of us it you actually have to pay people (and not minimum wage) to do it.

I’m thinking the whole overhead thing would be more than the payroll for entry level itself.

For the city? I’m guessing that if their bugdet is indeed $1.88 for the whole business of providing 132 crosswalk guards, that each guard would be getting paid maybe $6,000 apiece. I dont’ know if this is accurate or not. Maybe some of what I’m counting as “overhead” – like insurance and payroll expenses, a desk somewhere that parents – or school

officials – call with concerns, etc, are covered by another part of the city budget.

I’m thinking if 132 crosswalk guards get $12,000 each, for 1.6 million, then most of what I’d call overhead is in a part of the budget not couted in the 1.88 million, which might only cover age + social security.

Maybe someone here that has more than 2 employees they hire or budget for could give a guess.


StuInMcCandless

Private Message

Dec 22 2010 at 9:37am #

Friendship photo, I’d guess more like 1970. Guard is black, kids are white and black. Much earlier, you would not have had a black guard. Much later, all the kids would be one color or the other.

1950 photo (the car is late ’40s), I thought it was by Saline St, but I’m not sure. Might be that bridge is gone or replaced. The arched structure on the distant hillside at extreme right might be the best clue.


Steven

Private Message

Dec 22 2010 at 11:39am #

I’m thinking if 132 crosswalk guards get $12,000 each, for 1.6 million, then most of what I’d call overhead is in a part of the budget not couted in the 1.88 million, which might only cover age + social security.

Don’t forget that the city and the school district split the cost of the guards now. I don’t know if it’s an even split.

Roughly, the city’s contribution seems to cover the actual pay for the guards, so the district’s share would cover the overhead, whatever it is. If the city puts in $10 for every $1 from the school district, for instance, the overhead might be pretty small.

I found the school district budget documents here, but no mention of crossing guard expenses. Perhaps they’re not detailed enough, being only a few hundred pages long….

it’s that in order to provide complete safety for children walking to work, cars would need to be practically banned….

The other “safe” option is just the opposite: If a child has to cross a somewhat dangerous road on the way to school, then he goes by car. You replace the scary danger of crossing the street with the comfortable, acceptable dangers of obesity, heart disease, and the rest.

What about in all the cities that don’t have crossing guards? Children manage to make it to school without getting run over all the time.

I suspect reducing the number of crossing guards leads to fewer kids walking to school. But it’s possible other cities manage better because the drivers are safer. In my experience Pittsburgh drivers seem noticeably less interested in following traffic laws than those in other cities. (In some places, drivers manage to stop by the time a light turns red, instead of speeding up as they do here. Hard to believe, I know.)


erok

Private Message

Dec 22 2010 at 1:52pm #

crossing guards can also be seen as an investment. it pains me to think about this in monetary terms (cause you can’t put a price on kid’s safety). but aside from the obvious benefits of keeping kids (and adults) safe and better behaved, they also save the city money by not having to send police/ambulance etc to the scene of an incident – reducing the crashes reduces this cost. while i do believe removing crossing guards will cause some more parents to drive their kids, it’s also worth noting that about 14% of pittsburgh workers have no access to a vehicle, so these kids will be walking (taking the bus) no matter what. removing the guards from the equation, you will see more crashes. and the crashes would be skewed toward the kids that don’t have much of a choice but to walk.

@ Erok – Are you sure that first picture is from the 1950s? It looks more 1970s or maybe 1980s to me. And is the second one around the rail bridge near 30th Street?

ok, the photo from the site was dated “1950-1968…photographer unknown”

1950 photo (the car is late ’40s), I thought it was by Saline St, but I’m not sure.

I thought saline st as well


Swalfoort

Private Message

Dec 22 2010 at 2:04pm #

In part, the number of crossing guards may be decreasing because the City has been closing schools. A parent requests a crossing guard at a corner on, say, Shadeland, and then the City closes Horace Mann School. I think that means the crossing guard becomes available for re-assignment, but to where? There is no other school/crossing guard request in the neighborhood. Does the position just go away? If so, that would generate the lower numbers that Steven mentioned.


Steven

Private Message

Dec 22 2010 at 3:07pm #

Simply closing schools should increase the number of busy streets the average student has to cross, since the average distance between a residence and the school serving it would tend to increase.

Some of those distances might become so great that the child now goes by car or bus instead of walking. But in general I think the need for crossing guards would increase as a result of closing schools.

From the newspaper articles I linked to, it seems like the decrease in crossing guards over the years is basically just about money.


caitlin

Private Message

Dec 22 2010 at 3:12pm #

you can request a crossing guard in Pittsburgh:

Residents can request placement of a school crossing guard at a neighborhood intersection. A written request should be addressed to the Chief of Police, 1203 Western Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15233. A copy of the letter should also be forwarded to the City Budget Director, 518 City-County Building, Pittsburgh, PA 15219.

The request will be forwarded to the School Crossing Guard Program to conduct an audit of the intersection to determine the need for a crossing guard. The auditor considers traffic flow, safety of the children, and whether children are walking to school or a bus stop.

The auditor’s recommendation is forwarded to the Chief of Police for approval or denial. If the Chief of Police approves the recommendation, the request is forwarded to the Budget Office who makes the final determination regarding additional guards.

For more information about the School Crossing Guard Program or to report a compliment or complaint about your school crossing guard, call 412-665-3775.


rsprake

Private Message

Dec 22 2010 at 4:12pm #

Thinking back to my childhood we had very few crossing guards. I lived in Erie in an urban neighborhood and walked over a mile to middle school and grade school UPHILL BOTH WAYS! I had to cross at two very fast intersections. Used to do the same thing to go sled riding too since my sled riding hill was at the middle school.

What if we could spend that same amount on a safe routes to school program that would improve the streets around schools rather than paying someone to stand in the way?

Just thinking out loud.


Swalfoort

Private Message

Dec 22 2010 at 4:19pm #

When I was a kid there was a crossing guard (same one, for at least 11 years) on the relatively busy street between my house and the local elementary school. I went to a parochial school about 6 blocks in another direction for most of elementary school. There was a City crossing guard at the big, busy intersection. Then the school appointed 7th and 8th Graders the responsibility of being crossing guards for the little kids at each of the side streets on the other end of the block. It was quite an honor. You got to leave class early, wear the cool reflective “belt and sash,” etc. Since everyone (about 700 kids) walked to school, it was a good idea to have some presence on even the side streets for the littlest kids. I hadn’t thought about that for a long time. How small town that seems, even though it was in a relatively large metro area.


ejwme

Private Message

Dec 22 2010 at 4:40pm #

We had “sidewalk patrol” at my school. Sash, badge, total power. You had to be recommended by your third grade teacher and you were in for life (fourth and fifth grades), barring some kind of catastrophic mishap or a dip below a 3.0 GPA. I don’t remember what they did, I think mostly tattled on the bullies. Damn you, Ms. Chapman, I WAS responsible enough. They also had Hall Monitors with looser entry requirements, but when I found out those kids didn’t get to wander the halls during class, I turned down her crappy consolation prize. When they’re supposed to be empty is the most interesting time to monitor them!

The crossing guards were the most useful in terms of protecting kids, but there never was one at Barnesdale and Wilkins, where one was desperately needed.


erok

Private Message

Dec 22 2010 at 5:00pm #

What if we could spend that same amount on a safe routes to school program that would improve the streets around schools and pay someone to stand in the way?

for what it’s worth, SRTS money wouldn’t come from a city capital budget, it’s a federal program. the crossing guards are a nice addition to using this type of money

this kinda goes back to what i was originally saying. so much money is spent because of and due to cars. fire, ambulance, police, a large chunk of the public works budget, property damage. the $2M is a drop in the ocean compared to the amount spent on the other external costs happy motoring.


edmonds59

Private Message

Dec 22 2010 at 5:08pm #

I was on Sidewalk Patrol for 2 weeks until I got in a fight with the other guy stationed on my corner, Paul Thompson. The principal came out and apparently felt that was counterproductive, so that was the end of that. I was actually friends with the guy, he was just a knucklehead.


nick

Private Message

Dec 22 2010 at 5:36pm #

what if crossing guards were deputized with the authority to issue tickets for traffic violations? they would pay for themselves! not to mention making our streets a lot more safer than they already do.


rsprake

Private Message

Dec 22 2010 at 5:43pm #

We had the student crossing guards as well, but I don’t know how safe that really was even with the orange sash. :)


erok

Private Message

Dec 22 2010 at 5:53pm #

i love this classic Teenie Harris Shot


erok

Private Message

Dec 22 2010 at 5:54pm #

^that’s in the Hill


StuInMcCandless

Private Message

Dec 22 2010 at 6:41pm #

Perry & Sandle, there’s often a McCandless town cop sitting just out of sight of northbound traffic. Someone passes a stopped school bus or does something else stupid, they don’t get far.

That one spot is THE bus stop for several streets around, both sides of Perry Hwy. Not uncommon for 10 kids to get on each school’s bus (elem, middle, high). She’s not out there for the high school kids — they can take care of themselves — but if the smaller kids can get that far, she makes sure they all get on & off the bus safely.


rsprake

Private Message

Dec 23 2010 at 3:45pm #

There are frequently police officers waiting at Forbes and Braddock for drivers trying to cheat the light and speed up Forbes. That intersection would benefit greatly from a red light camera.


caitlin

Private Message

Jan 25 2011 at 7:38pm #

you too can be a city crossing guard!!

https://www.city.pittsburgh.pa.us/employmentcenter/JobDetails.aspx?Postings=1545


erok

Private Message

Feb 6 2012 at 3:53pm #

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/12036/1208061-53-0.stm

crossing guard shortage! please o please o please someone on here do this!


Nick D

Private Message

Feb 7 2012 at 5:54pm #

The other day the guard at Dawson and Blvd of the Allies fist bumped a kid who just got off his bus. It was awesome.

Viewing 23 posts - 41 through 63 (of 63 total)
 

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.