In 2019, when I was in 4th grade, I sent a letter to the St. Helena City Council about crosswalks. I wanted to get a crosswalk on the corner of my street at Kearney and Madrona. The corner of my street is a three-way crosswalk at the moment. It should be a four-way crosswalk with a stop sign.
With no stop sign, when I went to St. Helena Elementary School I had a hard time trying to get to the other side of the street without getting hit. I now go to RLS so I don’t use that crossing as often, but I still use it sometimes and I want it to be safe for everyone.
I thought the City Council would never write back but one day I opened the mail and there it was: a letter for me. They asked if I would join one of their meetings on Zoom, which I did. I have been to many Zoom meetings since then and have walked around town to look at all crosswalks with the City Council.
I think that it is important for our town to have crosswalks everywhere they are needed so it is safe for everyone. The city has done several things so far. They already have an Active Transportation Committee which helps with safety. When I spoke on Zoom, I raised awareness and the City Council created a phased approach. They are focusing on Spring Street, Madrona, and Kearney Street.
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It is taking a long time to get a crosswalk because it takes a lot of people and they need to get feedback before they can start. They have to follow certain standards before they can put the lines for the crosswalk and install the stop sign. City Council hired a consultant to report back to them on the walk audit and the meetings with community groups. The consultant’s company is GHD. Their focus is on Active Transportation and Safe Routes to School. The consultant is from Sacramento, but they come to St. Helena and sometimes they have meetings with City Council.
My goal is to raise awareness about safety for our community and increase the number of crosswalks. I am looking forward to having a crosswalk at Kearney and Madrona in the very near future.
Grade 6 Journalism
RLS Middle School