Buffalo Grove

Parents Demand Crossing Guards, New Safety Measures at ‘Dangerous' Intersections Near Schools

NBC Universal, Inc.

For Michelle Simon and her husband, walking their daughter to and from Cooper Middle School in Buffalo Grove has become a hassle.

In order to get to the school, they have to cross the busy intersection of Arlington Heights Road at Plum Grove Circle, at their own discretion.

"It's extremely dangerous," said Simon. "Traffic is going at least 40 miles an hour and they don’t stop. There’s no signs... only one little yellow sign, but no one pays attention."

Just days into the new school year, Simon said she realized the problems at the intersection needed to be addressed. She decided to take matters into her own hands by creating an online petition. In it, she asked for signatures to demand Community Consolidated District 21 and the village of Buffalo Grove, provide an urgent solution.

"I set up this petition and three days later almost 900 signatures," said Simon. "Everyone hears what's going on."

District officials heard the concerns as well. Over the weekend, the district's superintendent sent a letter to parents letting them know changes are coming.

"This year, after school started, we started to get some complaints," said Micheal DeBartolo, assistant superintendent of finance and operations at CCSD21. "We had already started working on hiring a crossing guard at Plum Grove for the first time and returning the one at Bernard/Nickols."

Additionally, CCSD21 officials say they're working with the village on signage, student education and additional measures to enhance safety at these intersections.

DeBartolo said he could not say exactly when the crossing guards would be hired or when signage would be placed at the intersections. 

"We hope it'll be very soon," DeBartolo said. "The goal is to get a crossing guard as soon as possible. In this day in age, it has to be posted. Hoping to get an applicant quickly. We have to do a background check and get them trained."

For parents, the proposed changes mean progress. But they say their fight isn't over.

"I am encouraged by the fact that there is some action going on but it’s not really action until there’s a crossing guard here," said Larry Mongoven, whose children attend Cooper Middle School and Longfellow Elementary.

Until measures are in place, CCSD21 officials encourage students and families to proceed with caution.

"We want something done... Within a month if possible," said Simon. There’s no excuse. This is a busy street and there’s gonna be a tragic accident if something is not taking place."

In a statement to NBC 5, Village of Buffalo Grove officials said:

“Buffalo Grove prioritizes student safety for all elementary and high school districts through its crossing guard, school resource officer and school safety planning programs.  The Village is working with CCSD21 to address student safety for children traveling to and from Longfellow Elementary and Cooper Middle schools.”

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