Butterfly crosswalk unveiled near Walkerville school

Walk through Walkerville in Windsor and you may notice something unique near King Edward Public School.

This is a new crosswalk decorated with blue butterflies and yellow flowers.

In recent years, colorful pedestrian crossings have promoted LGBTQ acceptance and paid tribute to Indigenous children who never returned home from boarding school. However, the crosswalk near King Edward Public School is the first of its kind in the area.

It was installed on the corner of Niagara Street and Chilver Road this week.

(Photo courtesy of Sean Campbell)

The crosswalk comes from a joint venture with the Greater Essex School Board to provide active transport for students. Superintendent of Education Todd Awender said five schools, three of them from the public school board, participated in a pilot program that encouraged students to walk, run, bike or skate to school. The Active Traffic Council received grants to host cycling classes and buy bike racks, but the council earmarked the remaining cash for crosswalks in strategic locations.

A second crosswalk is planned outside Talbot Trail Public Schools, and Awender acknowledged that some school communities may request their own crosswalk.

“It does take a lot of time,” he said. “You have to go through Windsor. You have to get artists who are willing to do it and can do it right. It has to be up to the spec.”

Awender hopes the crosswalk will be as successful as other active transportation initiatives like bike lessons and new bike racks.

“When we did the cycling lessons and the walkability and cycling ability tests, we were very excited and we saw that, both by bike,” he said.

Meanwhile, the project will expand to ten schools this year, with the goal of eventually including all schools.

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