Parents Pushing for Crosswalk at Lansing Charter School

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Imagine driving on a busy road, when out of nowhere a child darts across the street. It's a frightening scenario that's becoming the norm near a growing charter school in Lansing.

Lansing Charter Academy is tucked back off Holmes Road at Express Court, hidden by trees. The street is busy and traffic moves fast. There is no crosswalk and with no yellow signs marking a school zone, parents say drivers don't know it's there.

They are now pushing for change.

"It scares me to death that one of my grandchildren may be walking out the door and one of those cars coming through will hit them," Rosalind Johnson said.

She has three grandchildren at the school and a front row view of the traffic quagmire. Her house is just across the street.

"There's cars constantly in the turn lane, you have cars turning out of the school in the wrong direction," Johnson explained. "We definitely need a crosswalk there or someone who stands there and crosses the children because it's terrible."

More than 500 parents agree with her. They've sent letters to city council asking for a traffic light that operates during arrival and dismissal times and a crosswalk.

"It is just now really being called to attention as their numbers are increasing because the school has not been there that long," third ward council member A'Lynne Robinson said.

Robinson represents the area on the council and agrees it is dangerous.

"There is no signage that shows this is a school area," she said.

She's been meeting with the neighborhood association to find a solution. It could be added signs, a change in traffic direction, a crosswalk, or a crossing guard, but Robinson says a light is off the table.

Traffic volumes on Holmes don't meet the national standards for putting in a stoplight.

"They don't, we have a spike for about 45 minutes to an hour at both the morning drop off time and pickup," Robinson explained.

Parents say they've petitioned the city twice now, asking for changes. Robinson says they haven't contacted her, but she will be meeting with the school to talk about its options.

The issue will also be discussed at Lansing's public safety committee meeting next week.

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