Moline council hears emotional pleas for traffic control at John Deere Middle School
MOLINE Tears flowed at Tuesday night’s Moline City Council meeting as parents and students made their case for installation of a traffic light near John Deere Middle School.
Concerns about the speed of traffic in the area came to a head Friday after a student crossing the street near the school was struck by a vehicle. in the intersection of 12th Street and 21st Avenue.
“I just don’t want a situation where say we want to put a crossing guard there and it takes us four weeks to hire somebody and get somebody over there,” Ald. Wendt said.
A tearful Patricia Lang, of Moline, witnessed the accident, and helped gather people to lift the car off of the child. She said installing the traffic light is about safety.
“I pulled up to that street, and saw this little girl’s head bounce off of a windshield and slide underneath the hood and roll as this gentleman tried to get off of her and she became lodged,” Mrs. Lang said. “The scream that was heard was (the child’s) mother and the desperation look on her face. I never want to feel it or see it again.”
Mayor Stephanie Acri said the city has a “unique situation” because busing is not offered in Moline.
“We are all frustrated, we are all scared for our children,” Mayor Acri said. “There are ways to make it safer. We are going to have to come up with some unique solutions to keep our students safe.”
Chief Hitchcock said from Jan. 1, 2013,
until now, approximately 10 personal injury accidents occurred in the area between 19th and 23rd avenues and 9th and 12th streets. The majority of those were car versus car, with four of the 10 most likely involving John Deere Middle School students, Chief Hitchcock said.
Mayor Acri said the council will need to discuss further a long term solution to the problem. After the meeting, she said she has already talked with Moline Coal Valley Schools Superintendent Lanty McGuire twice and plans to talk more. She said she hopes to have a long term solution in place by the start of the next school year. Scott Hinton, city engineer, said that the road would be built from millings left over from the John Deere Road project. He did provide an update at the city council meeting Tuesday night:
“The preliminary investigation shows that a van parked on the east side of 12th Street, just south of 21st Avenue, right near the crosswalk. A pedestrian got out of the van on the east side of the van, walked around to the front of the van and stepped out onto 12th Street on the crosswalk at the same time a car was traveling north on 12th Street and the pedestrian was struck.
“Our investigation at this point shows that the main contributing factors were basically obstructed lines of sight for both the driver and the pedestrian.”