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Votes

Raised Crosswalk Near School Approved

Lousie Archer principal expresses concern about safety of intersection.

The Vienna Town Council approved the installation of a crosswalk and raised sidewalk at Louise Archer Elementary School, during a meeting Tuesday night at the request of the school’s principal.

Dwayne Young said that traffic at the intersection of Nutley and Knoll streets is a hazard to children walking home from school.

“People fail to adhere to the yield sign there,” Young said.

“We’ve put cones out in the street and requested a crossing guard from the county, but we haven’t heard back from them yet,” he said. “We’ve applied before but have been denied, and we’ll keep trying until we get one.”

Young said that the crosswalk signs are “hard to see” behind cars parked along the street during the day.

“There are about 28 children who live in the vicinity of the school that take the bus or have their parents drive them to school because they won’t cross that intersection,” he said.

Elizabeth DeFrancisco, a parent volunteer at Louise Archer, said that she was almost run over by a driver one day while in the crosswalk.

“I was trying to cross Knoll by Nutley, and a car came into the intersection. The man driving yelled at me for being in the crosswalk,” she said. “He told me I wasn’t supposed to be there, and then he maliciously and purposely tried to run me over.

“If that was my 7-year-old, he’d be dead,” she said.

Mayor M. Jane Seeman expressed concern that the installation of a raised crosswalk might not fix the problem.

“We can request a crossing guard from the county,” she said. “We can look into having an asphalt or cement sidewalk that goes into a raised crosswalk to help keep the kids safer.”

The board approved a motion to install “Do Not Enter” signs, as requested by Young, at the bus lanes in front of the school in addition to the sidewalk/crosswalk that will be installed northbound on Nutley from where it intersects with Knoll.

Also, the board heard a brief description of a leaf-mulching machine from Herndon resident Jim Collins. The Zoning Board of Appeals is meeting on Wednesday night at 8 p.m. to discuss its decision about the use of a mulching machine in Vienna, a topic of much discussion and controversy in recent months.