Is it just me or has this been the fastest summer on record? In some locations, school has been in session, while in Chesterfield, school will begin next week. This will bring a drastic change to traffic flow around most of the schools. School zone lights will be flashing, dropping speed limits to 25 or 35 mph, depending on where the school is located. If you are one that travels through Chester on a regular basis, you must prepare for delays; delays that simply require your patience more than your time.
My wife serves as the crossing guard at Curtis Elementary, a position that she has held for many years. She works for the Chesterfield County Police Department in this role. Her primary responsibility is to safely cross your children at designated school crossings. When able, she serves to help traffic flow into and out of the school, as well as keeping traffic moving on Rt. 10. Over the years, she has encountered many disgruntled motorists, and had to work through citizen complaints, which came because she was trying to do the job that she was tasked with. Believe it or not, she will return for another year of whatever this job affords her.
How can you help to make things flow smoother in Chester, or through any school crossing, for that matter? First and foremost is to give yourself plenty of time. Most people push the envelope when they are running behind, and getting stopped at a school crossing sends their temper over the edge. If you cannot deal with the delays caused by a school crossing, then I recommend that you bypass that crossing altogether. If you find yourself going through a school crossing at the time that the crossing is active, then you must adhere to speed limit changes, as well as directions given by crossing guards and police officers. It is amazing how much more amiable people become when a police car sits at a school crossing, than not.
It is your choice how you will deal with the minimal delays surrounding a school crossing. Many will get mad and spew their vinegar when things do not go their way. The Curtis crossing involves five lanes of travel on Rt. 10, plus the lanes going into and out of the school. It is a lot to keep up with, and I commend my wife for the job that she does to keep everyone as safe as possible. I implore each of you to help her, by displaying patience and due regard for her safety and the safety of others. If you make a wrong choice at her crossing, you will probably hear about it, whether from her or a police officer. She, as is the case with all crossing guards, is tasked with a job; keeping your children safe, whether they walk, ride a bus or are brought to school in a car. Do your part in this, and the crossing guards will do theirs.