The City of Osceola is pleased to announce the completion and ribbon cutting for phase one of the school crossing at Highway 34 and Kossuth Street. The conclusion of this phase also provided an opportunity to celebrate Paul Henry, his resilience and his recovery by naming the crosswalk “Henry Crossing.” Mr. Henry was struck by a vehicle in the middle of the intersection two years ago while putting out a stop sign for students crossing in the area.
“It’s imperative to the safety of our students and community members that drivers keep their eyes on the road,” Said Becca Kedley, Clarke’s Elementary Vice Principal. “Since the accident, we’ve worked hard on evolving the crosswalk guard position, making it safer for all involved.”
Much of the work put into the improved safety at the crossing required extra staffers to manage signs and control traffic. Donning reflective vests and providing morning greetings, they brought attention to the activities in the busy intersection, reducing the chance for additional accidents like Mr. Henry’s.
“Fulfilling the city’s promise to be present until phase one was complete, Ty Wheeler, Osceola’s city administrator, went above and beyond by volunteering his own mornings to help make the crosswalk safer,” explained Kedley. “The Osceola Police Department was also supportive by patrolling the area.”
This is also perfect timing to remind drivers to be aware of their surroundings as students prepare to go back to school. Phase Two of the intersection project is creating safe sidewalks in conjunction with the crossing to ensure students stay out off the streets when walking to school.
As in the past, stop signs will be placed in the intersection at Highway 34 and Kossuth before school beginning at 7:30 a.m. and again at 2:45 p.m., following the elementary school dismissal. This will be the practice for the first few weeks of the school year with the intent of moving them to the side of the road once drivers get back in the habit of stopping.
It’s important to emphasize, that with the start of school this week, children will be walking throughout the city and crossing streets to get to their intended destinations during some of the busiest times of the day. Drivers need to be aware of their surroundings and be prepared to stop at intersections and crossing areas to make sure children get to and from school and activities safely.