By Dedra Cordle
The safety of its citizens has been at the forefront of discussions and actions during the last few village of Urbancrest council meetings.
In May, council approved an ordinance to prohibit motorists on Urbancrest Industrial Drive from turning onto Augustus Drive between the hours of 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. in order to lessen vehicular traffic clogging their residential streets.
In August, Mayor Joseph Barnes Sr. proposed the installation of four-way stop signs on First Avenue and Augustus Drive, First Avenue and Wallace Lane, Central Avenue and Augustus Drive and Central Avenue and Wallace Lane in order to slow speeders.
Also in August, village council celebrated the completion of the grant which saw safety gates placed on the streets that intersect with the railroad tracks.
These past few months have also seen serious discussions about lowering the speed limit within the village as well.
Now, they have included another safety upgrade – bus shelters for students.
At the Sept. 13 meeting, council approved the installation of five bus shelters at the stops throughout the village to protect the children awaiting transportation to school from inclement weather.
“I’m excited about it,” said councilman Kenneth Skeaton.
He said this inclusion of bus shelters for students would be an “added improvement for the village that the community can be proud of.”
Councilwoman Veronica Shepherd also expressed her excitement about the shelters, stating that not only would it keep them from exposure from the elements, but it would also keep them safe.
“It will keep everyone in one area,” she said. “Usually you see one group over there and the other group over there and this shelter will keep them all together.”
She said an added bonus to the latter part is that it could shield them from some unsavory characters.
“Sometimes we get people looming around here.”
Shepherd said she was proud of the recent safety legislation that council has approved and discussed.
“Children are our jewels,” she said.
According to Barnes, the installment of the five bus shelters was a joint venture between the village and business partners in the community. He said while there is no scheduled date for the shelters to be installed, it would not be too far off into the future.