By Julie McCay Turner
Among the Silver Award projects undertaken by members of Girl Scout Cadette Troop 71639 is one that encourages the installation of a crosswalk along North Road, between Sullivan Tire and Bedford Farms.
Sylvia Wolk, a rising freshman at Bedford High School with a 10-year scouting career, designed the project and has spent some of her summer vacation soliciting input and support for it among Bedford residents and visitors from nearby towns and faraway countries.
The Girl Scout Silver Award is one of the highest awards available to Cadette Scouts during their middle school years, and projects should have a “measurable and sustainable impact” on their local community.
Wolk’s project seeks to ensure safety for pedestrians and cyclists crossing North Road at Bedford Farms. In addition to her advocacy on behalf of a crosswalk, she has designed a bicycle safety brochure that she hopes will be distributed through the schools this fall.
In speaking with Town Engineer Adrienne St. John, Wolk learned that the crosswalk she envisions is included in the Great Road Master plan along with other initiatives and amenities.
Moving the crosswalk forward is important to Wolk. “The plan’s safety aspects should be stressed and come before its design elements,” she said. In a follow-up interview with The Bedford Citizen, St. John cautioned that because the crosswalk’s intended location is not at an intersection, flashing lights and crossroad markings won’t guarantee that cars will stop. She added that the project may be more costly than Wolk anticipates since the original estimates for the work were made several years ago.
Armed with a clipboard,Wolk and her sister have spoken with Bedford Farms customers and amassed more than 200 signatures in less than a week. The petition will be incorporated in her Silver Award documentation and also delivered to the Town.
The petition is also available on line, should readers choose to participate: Bedford Farms Crosswalk Support Petition- We, the undersigned, are citizens of Bedford Massachusetts and surrounding areas who would like to state our support for a crosswalk on North Road, between Sullivan Tire and Bedford Farms Ice Cream to be installed before the remainder of that part of the Great Road Master Plan. We understand that this crosswalk will cost approximately $14,000 to properly install the sidewalks, curbs, and make the project ADA compliant. We acknowledge this is a part of the Great Road Master Plan, but we feel safety needs to come before the other parts of the Master Plan. Click here if you are a registered voter in Middlesex County and would like to sign the petition
Dave Venuti of Bedford Farms said, “We’ve been following [the petition] on social media. We are in total support of Sylvia’s project and extremely happy that she is spearheading this great idea for the safety of the town and all patrons to the North Rd area! Love to see her succeed on our quest to bringing a crosswalk to the Bedford Farms fans!”
Documentation for Wolk’s Silver Award project must be submitted to the Girl Scouts for consideration by September 30.
Editor’s Note: While The Bedford Citizen does not advocate in favor of or against particular positions, we heartily support Wolk’s interest in the Town and her activism. The Citizen invites reader comments below, or as a Letter to the Editor submitted to email@example.com.