Busy Roads Cause Tonawanda Parents Concern

September 16, 2011 Updated Sep 16, 2011 at 12:31 PM EDT

By Jaclyn Asztalos

...
September 16, 2011 Updated Sep 16, 2011 at 12:31 PM EDT

Tonawanda, N.Y. (WKBW) - Nicole Castrogiovanni is fighting for her son to have a safer walk to school. He's not provided a bus by the Ken-Ton School District because they live less than 1.2 miles away from Hoover Middle School.

Channel 7 talked to her last week when she was working with the district to see if a getting a bus was possible. School officials said residents vote on the distance and they have to follow the rules. Now, the boy must cross Military Road, a very busy intersection.

"It's just not a safe way for an 11 year old to go," Castrogiovanni said.

Castrogiovanni turned to the police department, who held a meeting Friday to address this and other concerns. The department overseas the crossing guards, something that she hoped was a possibility. They already had to cut four because of budget issues. They also said the road is too busy for a guard.

"It would be impractical and unsafe to put crossing guard there," Tonawanda Police Chief Anthony Palombo said.

Military Road is also the State Department of Transportation responsibility so the police would have to work closely with the DOT to make something happen. Chief Anthony Palombo said they're willing to do so to make the students safer.

"Right now we're trying to get the signal at the fire hall to be a functional signal," Castrogiovanni said.

Castrogiovanni hopes that the police department will work with the DOT to make the flashing light a place where her son could cross. All he would have to do is walk a couple of feet down the sidewalk to cross safely.

That is the where Castrogiovanni stands now in her fight but she is not the only person with concerns. Other parents said the intersection of Crosby and Irving is also dangerous.

"My concern is driver expecting children to take responsibility for crossing that street and it's not the responsibility of a child," parent Vinny Laughlin said.

The crossing guard at that intersection was one cut from the budget but at the meeting Friday a decision was made to reinstate that guard.

Castrogiovanni said that decision gives her hope that the police will continue to support her efforts to find a way to make her child walk to school a bit safer.

"I work my way through people. Somebody give doesn't give me an answer I go higher up. They think I'm going away but I'm fighting for my son's safety. Bottom line is the safety of the kids," Castrogiovanni said.