Sometimes heroes are kids.
On Tuesday, August 12, the Gulfport Teen Council revealed their latest accomplishment: two lighted crosswalks, or Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons, were installed at 58th Street South in front of Boca Ciega High School.
You’ve seen them, probably even cursed them a time or two. They’re big, yellow, flashy and they make you hit the brakes.
About six months ago, Gulfport Teen Council members brought up a concern at their monthly meeting.
With school starting before sunrise, “it was dangerous,” said Connor Rowell, chair of the Gulfport Teen Council, of the street in front of the school. “In the morning you couldn’t see the kids crossing because of how dark it was, and in the afternoon the drivers wouldn’t stop to let kids cross.”
After some discussion, teen council members brought their concerns to City Manager Jim O’Reilly and Public Works Director Tom Nicholls.
O’Reilly and Nicholls found two sets of flashers that the county no longer needed from a previous installation, and installed them at no cost to the council or the city. The two sets of flashers will be added to the city’s existing signal maintenance agreement and will cost $500 each annually for maintenance.
“I feel like it’s going to help kids out being able to cross without fear now,” said Rowell. “It feels awesome that it’s accomplished.”