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Jordan Degagne warns traffic to stop at the intersection of Keating Avenue and First Street East, September 25, 2023. Image: Randy Thoms/Acadia Broadcasting

Fort Frances man seeks crossing guards

By Randy Thoms Sep 26, 2023 | 2:01 PM

Fort Frances Town Council wants to look at the process necessary to change how traffic is controlled on its streets.

This after hearing from Jordan Degagne, who wants crossing guards on Keating Avenue.

He says with three schools in the vicinity, area streets have become busy and dangerous places for children, especially during scheduled pickup times at J.W. Walker School.

“These children, they have to walk out in front of these cars parked on the side of the road just to see if someone’s coming. Generally speaking, those vehicles are travelling 40-50 km an hour down that road to which I’ve seen in the past, they have to slam on the brakes,” says Degagne.

“I’ve heard other testimony from bus drivers, just other parents around that area that have seen children almost get hit when crossing this First Street intersection.”

He says the safety risks will get worse in the winter.

“Come winter, I think we’re going to face some serious issues. And that’s where I heard of the other potential issue last year with the child almost getting hit. So the end goal here, why do we want this solved, is obviously to prevent serious injury and death,” says Degagne.

He does suggest a four-way stop as an alternative but is concerned vehicles may blow through it or the signs on Keating becoming obscured by the traffic lined up along the street waiting to pick up their children at J.W. Walker School.

Degagne has taken it upon himself to help children cross safely on his own time despite warnings from the town to stop.

He appears for about 20 minutes each afternoon wearing a safety vest and carrying a stop sign.

He vows to continue until a safe solution is found.

Council has asked administration for a report on the process needed to make changes to how traffic, both vehicular and pedestrian, is controlled on its streets.