LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) — Students and parents at Northside Elementary and Coulee Montessori are seeing more traffic due to construction projects in the area, and that is causing safety concerns for the community.
Construction on part of George St. and Rublee St. is directing traffic onto Gillette St. which is next to both of the schools. The intersection of Kane and Gillette St. is one of the primary crosswalks for students for heading to and from the elementary buildings.
“There is a ton more traffic because of the morning commute, and it doesn’t seem like anything is being done about it,” said Sarah Reps-Flietner, a concerned parent. “Somebody is going to get hurt.”
The La Crosse Police Department has already received several calls about safety concerns over the past two weeks.
“We have had police officers go up there,” said Sgt. Tom Walsh, La Crosse Police Department. “We have assigned officers up there school resource officers before and after school as well as our patrol officers, but in this particular case, it’s just we’re taking a lot of traffic and putting it into a smaller area, so it really is creating some congestion.”
The new traffic patterns have caused some close calls with children crossing the street and inattentive drivers.
“I was waiting for a child to cross in the crosswalk, and a car passed me on the right and didn’t even see the kid trying to cross,” said Reps-Flietner.
Two crossing guards are present during the week at Gillette and Kane St. as well as George and Kane St. The speed limit in a school zone is 15 mph, so police and parents are asking drivers to slow down.
“We’re a community,” said Reps-Flietner. “We all have to watch out.”