Local man: Slow down near school


A Brownstown resident has a message for people driving around the middle school at the beginning and end of a school day — slow down and be careful.

That’s especially the case at the four-way stop at Walnut and Stout streets, where students often are in a crosswalk going to or coming from school.

Bill Watson said he has witnessed several instances where drivers aren’t paying attention when approaching the crosswalk.

“My granddaughter almost got hit here a while back,” he told Brownstown Town Council members during a recent meeting.

He said while she was in the crosswalk, a car just drove right by. He also recently saw a woman drive through the area not paying attention because she was on her cellphone.

“I go up there and pick my granddaughter up and drop her off, and I’m sitting there watching these students trying to cross the street and all of these cars coming by not aware that it’s a crosswalk there, not paying attention,” Watson said. “I’m afraid a student is going to get hurt one of these days.”

He suggested the town put up signs letting motorists know there is a crosswalk. Pedestrians have the right of way in a crosswalk, and motorists must yield to them.

When Walnut Street was repaved last year, new crosswalk lines were put on the roadway at that intersection, but they have faded a little.

“I’m getting tired of seeing those students dodging cars as they are crossing the street,” Watson said. “You’ve got a crosswalk up there, but you can’t hardly tell that it’s there until you’re right on top of it.”

Watson said along West Second Street in Seymour near the high school, there are bright yellow signs making motorists aware of approaching crosswalks.

The speed limit near Brownstown Central Middle School is 20 mph, and signs are posted in the area.

The town recently put up two additional stop signs at Elm and Walnut streets a block east of the middle school, making it a four-way stop. A resident suggested that to the council to make the area safer and slow traffic down near the school.

Councilman Matt Smith said it may be a good idea for police officers to patrol the area more when students are going to and coming from school.

“If students come darting out between cars going 20 miles per hour, you’re still going to hit them,” Watson said. “I just barely creep (while driving in the area), and I have had to stop for kids jumping out in front of me.”

Councilwoman Bethany Brewster said the town could take care of crosswalk signage in the area, and she would talk to school officials about having more staff members near the crosswalks. Watson said a staff member typically is outside in the morning helping kids cross the street.