Long road to children's crossing

Lindi Harding
St Augustine's School

Our parent survey last year showed that many parents believed that a crossing guard would really assist them improve their families active travel trips. I did a preliminary survey and found that we would have enough usage to apply for a Type B crossing guard. So we ‘just’ needed a volunteer!

I started a facebook chat group with other interested parents to try and make progress on this issue. Between us, we arranged for the school to pay for advertising in the Belmont Bulletin.

We have had assistance from the Belmont Volunteer Hub to source volunteers and parents have shared in their own networks.

We eventually found community member willing to help our students cross the busy intersection safely. So we were ready to apply for a Type B crossing guard. For the application survey we put the call out using the school app and facebook page to make sure we had the maximum usage. It was a cold winters day (the Bureau of Meteorology said ‘feels like 1 degree’) but that didnt stop our school from pulling together.

We had some help from the year 4s who were learning about Excel at school. The graph shows how many cars and trucks there were compared active travelers. We counted both before and after school that just over 20 students used the intersection and cars/trucks/buses well exceeded the minimum 200.

This meant we could apply for a Type A crossing! We completed the application and provided it to the City of Belmont for endorsement. This process took a few months. Eventually, on the last day of Term 3 a COB representative hand delivered our endorsed application! Lucky we have asked for a Type A because by the time the application was endorsed, our volunteer withdrew their interest.

One of the very first things to happen in Term 4 was to send off the application.

We have received our confirmation of submission.

Now it is all action stations while we await the official randomised survey counts. Our facebook chat group has hatched a plan to ensure we have enough usage of the crossing each day. We have a timetable as a way for the supportive families to pledge when they will use the crossing. Here is an early version.

We have identified some days where we may struggle to meet the Type A with 20 students crossing. To help on the days that there is shortfall we have started a walking/riding/scooting school bus offering active travel trips to students who’s families aren’t able to do it that day due to other commitments. We meet at the Newey St Reserve at 8:10 and 3:15.

The plan has been running for about a week and it is looking hopeful that we can get a Type A crossing. Here’s a photo of yesterdays ‘school bus’.

This has been a very long journey, we really hope that we will have a successful Type A crossing application. Even if we aren’t successful this time the process itself has built community and increased active travel trips. It is putting us in a good place to make another application in future.

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James (Your Move)

What an epic journey Lindi 😮. It is so close, I can just smell that crossing on the horizon! Although we gave you the 80 points 10 months ago when you first posted on this process, I have just given you 20 'outstanding' bonus points for all the extra super efforts put in by you and all the others at St. A's. You have also earned 30 points for giving us such a detailed insight into the process and your approaches. I look forward to hearing the final result 😊.

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