NJ Statute (40A:9-154.4) gives authority to the chief of police or other chief law enforcement officer of a municipality to place crossing guards at locations within the municipality. The key to post placement is to provide reasons for the determination of crossing guard post locations based on an analysis of specific factors at the location and to communicate those reasons to the community members affected, especially if you are decommissioning posts.
Crossing guard placement is not attached to a school but to the pedestrian safety need at a particular location. The following should be considered when determining crossing guard post locations:
- Age of students
- Width of the street/# of lanes
- Sight distance
- Safe gaps in traffic
- Presence of traffic control devices
- Speed of vehicles
- Volumes of traffic & pedestrians
- Attendance boundary & walk zone
- Crash history
- Distance from the school
- Adjacent land use
This list is not intended to be exclusive of other considerations. Your municipal engineer can be helpful in conducting pedestrian and vehicle counts, but also in looking at the characteristics of potential crossing posts and surrounding infrastructure, or lack thereof, that may make these locations challenging for pedestrians.
These resources can help you determine the need for crossing guards at specific locations:
- Chapter 4 of the NJ School Zone Design Guide
- Placement and Gap Assessment portion of the Crossing Guard Supervisor Manual
- NJ Safe Routes Resource Center Crossing Guard Placement Video
Crossing Guard Policy
A section in a municipal crossing guard policy that describes your crossing guard placement process will help to address comments from the public and ensure that placement is based on an analysis of conditions at the post and community needs.
A model crossing guard policy, and several examples of municipal crossing guard policies, are here.