mom Jennifer Borenius says she just wants her kids to be able to ride their bikes to school safely.
Borenius came before the Little Silver Borough Council in June to ask members to approve extending the hours of the crossing guard stationed at the end of Point Road so that Markham Place children could cross Seven Bridges Road supervised.
The mother of four boys, who lives on Point Road, was concerned that the guard's hours accommodated children but middle school students, whose day ended 15 minutes later, often had to fend for themselves crossing the busy road by the time they rode their bikes across town. She had contacted Capt. Gary LaBruno, who was also at that June meeting, and said she had the support of neighborhood parents for changing the guard's hours.
The council agreed with her that it was in students' best interest to stretch that one guard's time to accommodate students biking to and from Markham.
"Let's give it a whirl," Councilman Jon Bitman said at that meeting. "The last thing we want to do is jeopardize a life."
The final step to putting that plan into action before the start of the school year came at the Aug. 6 council meeting when members passed an ordinance approving a salary increase for Guard “C” to $49.40 per day. The borough previously had two pay scales for crossing guards — either $41.50 or $45 per day — which is based on the time worked.
Twelve students who live on Point Road will attend Markham in the fall, according to Borenius, and nine children attend Point Road School.
The start and end times have changed slightly at both schools this year; the school day at will begin five minutes earlier — at 8:10 a.m. instead of 8:15 a.m. — and end at 3 p.m. as usual.
At , the school bell will ring at 8:05 a.m. and sound off again at 2:55 p.m. to mark the end of the day. Previously, school started at 8:15 a.m. and wrapped up at 2:45 p.m.
Councilman Dan O'Hern said at the June meeting, "We do want to encourage kids to ride their bikes."