Evanston aldermen voted Monday to buy solar-powered LED school crossing warning sign systems for ten school crossings.

City officials hope to have the signs in place before school starts this fall.

The signs, from TAPCO Traffic and Parking Control of Brown Deer, Wis., will cost just under $57,000. They’ll include push-buttons for pedestrians to activate the lights.

The new signs are part of a broader effort to improve pedestrian safety that also calls for buying $75,000 worth of thermoplastic pavement marking tape for crosswalks and lane markings.

And, based on a staff report that shows wide variations in the usage of school crosswalks now staffed by crossing guards, the plan also calls for working with Evanston/Skokie School District 65 to re-evaluate the crossing guard program.

The number of crossings per day ranges from a low of nine at the crossing at Isabella Street and Ridge Avenue leading to Orrington Elementary School, to a high of 310 at the Lincoln Street and Prairie Avenue crossing used by students at Kingsley Elementary and Haven Middle School. 

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Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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