New high-tech school zone signs going up in Jackson

Saturday, November 23, 2002

Jackson children who walk to or from school should be a bit safer once the city completes installation of new fluorescent yellow-green warning signs on the 10 public and parochial school campuses in the city.

Two dozen of the signs showing two silhouetted figures walking together are replacing the existing pedestrian warning signs. They are made of a more durable high-performance material designed to last 20 years and are supposed to help drivers react more quickly in school zones.

They are made of a grade of sheeting called diamond grade that is more reflective and can be seen from further away than standard signs.

"It's the newest thing, especially around schools," said Marilyn Hennemann of the Southeast Missouri Regional Planning Commission in Perryville, Mo. "They really do stand out."

The signs were made available through the commission, which paid about 60 percent of the cost. The city of Jackson's cost per sign was $52.

The commission has provided a signage program for its member cities since 1980, said Hennemann, the commission's fiscal officer.

Some of the Jackson's old pedestrian crossing signs needed replacement. Others that didn't may be recycled, put in surplus or used elsewhere, Jackson public works director Bollinger said. City crews are expected to complete the job of replacing the signs within the next few days.

Some Jackson schools -- R.O. Hawkins Junior High, Orchard Elementary, West Lane Elementary, Jackson Middle School and the new South Elementary -- are in neighborhoods that don't have sidewalks. Students who are not driven to or from school walk in the streets or yards.

But the signs were not purchased because of any heightened concerns, Bollinger said. There have been no recent reports of pedestrian accidents involving Jackson students.

335-6611, extension 182

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