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Police: children, parents put in danger by not using Conkling School crosswalk

By LEXIE O'CONNOR

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Utica Police are warning parents that they need to be using Conkling Elementary School's crosswalks.

Police say parents have been parking in the McDonald's parking lot and crossing their children mid-block to the school's entrance, which is not only in violation of the vehicle and traffic law, but very dangerous.

"Our biggest concern is the kids," says Utica Police Sergeant Steve Hauck. "You know, you're dealing with younger children here who, you know, they see their parent, they run toward their parent or they see their friend, they run to their friend, not knowing that people aren't going to stop not being at a cross walk."

Mohawk Street has two designated crosswalks for Conkling School - one at Mohawk Street and South Street, and one on Mohawk Street at the entrance to McDonald's, where unlike mid-block, there are traffic signals.

"There's no type of devices to monitor traffic, so cars are coming through there and there's nothing to slow them down or stop them," says Sgt. Hauck.

Police are also advising drivers that the speed limit is 15 mph in all school zones from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. while school is in session.

"I think probably the biggest concern is the fact that Conkling wasn't a school for a long time," Hauck said. "It is now, so it's kind of been re-purposed as a school and people have been traveling through here for a long time, maybe not quite used to it, being back to what it was as a school zone."

Police say they will start advising and then enforcing violators of the mid-block crossing and speeding through the end of this school year and into next year.

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