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Parents: Dangerous Crossing Needs Guard

Wisconsin Avenue crosswalks at O and P Street are treacherous, Georgetown's Hyde-Addison Elementary families say.

Parents from Georgetown's Hyde-Addison Elementary want a crossing guard or other safety precaution for one of the Wisconsin Avenue crosswalks near the school because, as one parent wrote, crossing to get her daughter to school is "the scariest part of my day."

A group of parents on the PTA are organizing, counting crossings and dangerous traffic incidents, and writing letters to garner support for more safety measures at either the O or P Street crosswalk on Wisconsin Avenue.

"Gripping my young daughter's hand and waving my hands while we're in the crosswalk occasions absolutely no sympathy with drivers barreling down the street," wrote Alison Jia in an email to Patch.

Jia is one of several parents who is organizing the effort on behalf of Hyde's students.

Several volunteers have been monitoring the crosswalk during peak school crossing hours — between 7:45 and 8:45 am and 3 to 4 p.m. — on school days throughout this week.

Jia hopes they can "demonstrate a need for a guard, or heightened police presence, signage, SOMETHING" (emphasis hers).

In recent years, local children have begun flocking to the popular neighborhood public school. The increasing the flow of tiny pedestrian traffic across Wisconsin Avenue comes both from children who live in the East Village and parents and children from out of boundary who park on the other side of Wisconsin Avenue and then walk their children to Hyde.

Anna Fuhrman lives on P Street and she recently wrote one of her neighbors, Ward 2 Councilman Jack Evans, about the need for a crossing guard.

"I see dozens of my neighbors heading past my house and yours every morning to get to school. We all huddle together and hope for the best as we plunge into traffic," she wrote.

The District Department of Transportation pays the salaries of school crossing guards and spokeswoman Monica Hernandez told Patch "demand is high" for the service throughout the city.

Hernandez said not every school has a crossing guard. Hyde-Addison has one already who controls traffic flow and pedestrian safety on O Street during pick-up and drop off.

DDOT's spokeswoman told Patch the agency generally tries to place crossing guards at intersections "with high volumes of traffic."

While they are doing to counting to make sure, the parents are pretty certain the traffic situation on Wisconsin Avenue would be considered "high volume."

"I feel there's a great need for a highlighted safety presence near the school on Wisconsin Ave., especially considering the volume and complexity of the traffic on Wisconsin and the relative inattention and impatience of the drivers both morning and afternoon," Jia wrote.

Hernandez said DDOT tries "to be strategic about resources on hand" and will consider new requests on a "case-by-case scenario."

The PTA still needs volunteers to help with the foot traffic counts in the mornings and afternoons. You can contact Hyde parents Alison Jia (alison.alten@gmail.com) or Ali Muhammad (amuatlaw@aol.com).

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