Crossing guard and educational assistant, Sue Ashton, helps Springwood Elementary students safely cross at Despard Avenue and Moilliet Street in Parksville on Dec. 9, 2020. (Mandy Moraes photo)

Crossing guard and educational assistant, Sue Ashton, helps Springwood Elementary students safely cross at Despard Avenue and Moilliet Street in Parksville on Dec. 9, 2020. (Mandy Moraes photo)

Crossing guards now stationed to assist youngsters at ‘worrisome’ Parksville intersection

WATCH: Safety concerns heightened after child injured last month at marked crosswalk

Parents and students of Parksville’s Springwood Elementary now feel safer crossing a high-traffic intersection where a child was injured last month.

School District 69 (Qualicum) crossing guards have been stationed at the Despard/Moilliet intersection in Parksville to help students cross before and after the school bell. The crossing guards, both educational assistants who’ve recently completed a two-day traffic control course in Nanaimo, are contracted until spring break 2021. Following that, their necessity at that location will be revisited by the school board.

Concerns about safety at the intersection, located less than 500 metres from Springwood Elementary, have been ongoing as it is close to a new grocery store currently under construction as well as the Alberni Highway. Concerns were exacerbated when a child was stuck while crossing a marked crosswalk on Nov. 13.

Crossing guard Sue Ashton said they are “most definitely” necessary to maintain traffic and pedestrian safety.

“So much traffic comes out here. And with big trucks, they have to come out (into the intersection) to see,” she said. “It’s got to be rectified, it’s just a big danger.”

READ MORE: 12-year-old Parksville boy recovering after being hit by vehicle

Springwood Elementary principal Lisa Pedersen-Skene said the guards will be there “until safe improvements are made” by the city. She remains hopeful the city has “things in place” before the contracts expire. Soon, she would like to see the school district no longer be financially responsible for maintaining traffic in that location.

“It’s really worrisome for us,” she said. “And we don’t need another accident. One was too many.”

Pedersen-Skene has talked with several parents after the accident on Nov. 13 and many told her their children were scared and nervous using the intersection. Although now she said she sees more families walking to school and noticed an increasing use of that intersection since the school sent out emails to parents advising of the crossing guards.

“I think kids needed to see it and know that it was staying. Kids just needed some time to get used to it, and just process the accident,” she said.

Pedersen-Skene hopes the city will install at least a flashing crosswalk, but isn’t sure what specific rules and clearance that might entail.

READ MORE: City of Parksville offers update on intersection where 12-year-old boy struck by vehicle

Six days after the child was struck at Despard and Moilliet, the City of Parksville issued a release about safety at that specific intersection.

The city stated ongoing development planning includes a professional traffic assessment, which after review, concluded the existing configuration would “be enough to move traffic and pedestrians without significant delay or safety conflict.”

They have initiated a review of both the school zone and the intersection and the release read the study will confirm if the assumptions and conditions relied upon in the initial assessment are accurate, or if further upgrades are required.

“The intersection at Despard and Moilliet is not located within the school area/school zone; however, the safety and number of pedestrians is a critical consideration of the intersection evaluation. The city continues to monitor this area and will adjust the intersection as appropriate to accommodate actual conditions.”

According to the superintendent of School District 69 (Qualicum), Dr. Keven Elder, parents from Springwood Elementary intend to make a presentation during the board’s public Zoom meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 15. In an email to PQB News, he said the board currently has a motion planned for the same meeting on Dec. 15, to call on the city for more support, “given that the challenges come primarily from the large amount of construction and development at that corner.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(File photo)
PQB crime report: Vandals strike in Parksville, prowler lurks in Nanoose Bay

Oceanside RCMP receive 276 complaints in one-week period

The intersection of Despard Avenue and Moilliet Street, where a child was struck and injured in November 2020. (Mandy Moraes photo)
High-traffic Parksville intersection to get temporary 4-way stop

City staff to monitor effectiveness of traffic-calming measure at Despard and Moilliet

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

(Black Press file photo).
Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Pat Kauwell, a semi-retired construction manager, lives in his fifth-wheel trailer on Maxey Road because that’s what he can afford on his pension, but a Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw prohibits using RVs as permanent dwellings, leaving Kauwell and others like him with few affordable housing options. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Housing crunch or not, it’s illegal to live in an RV in Nanaimo

Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw forcing pensioner to move RV he calls home off private farm land

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control has listed Harbour Air and Air Canada flights to and from Nanaimo, from April 3, 4 and 12, on its list of flights with COVID-19. (News Bulletin file)
COVID-19 cases reported for Nanaimo flights, says disease control centre

Nanaimo flights for April 3, 4 and 12 listed on BCCDC’s list of flights with COVID-19

Most Read