Weirton residents are all too familiar with the dangers of traffic in school zones. Many still mourn Mindy Cassella, a school crossing guard hit and killed while on duty 11 years ago in the city.
Now, safety for the massive new elementary school being constructed at Pennsylvania and Preston avenues is a worry. Local and school officials would like the state to install a traffic light there, on a state highway.
But state officials say the traffic count at the site is not high enough to justify a light, it was reported during a meeting of Weirton City Council members last week. Instead, it has been suggested the city should assign a police officer to direct traffic at the location, when necessary.
Once the school, slated to serve nearly 1,000 students, opens, traffic will be heavy there at certain times. And city officials have pointed out it is a dangerous site, at the top of a hill.
State officials should reconsider, taking into consideration both the quantity and, in a way, the quality of traffic at the school site. By that we mean much of it will involve children, who deserve a special measure of concern about safety. Some sort of mechanized traffic control, if only operating during critical hours, should be considered.