Students use school zone at times

I read with interest a recent Since You Asked column about speed limits in school zones, and it got me thinking about a school zone in my neighborhood — the zone on Garfield Street that abuts Jefferson Elementary School property in Medford. In the 19 years I have lived nearby and driven that length of Garfield every hour of the day, I have never seen a student within 1,000 yards of that zone. The school is many blocks away at the far end of the property, and that's where kids go to class, play and get picked up and dropped off. The end of the property that Garfield abuts is a big empty lawn where people sometimes walk their dogs, but there are never any children there. So why is it a 20 mph zone? Just because the school owns the lawn?

— Mark H., Medford

County property records show the Medford School District does own the entire property, Mark, which runs along the entire length of Kenyon Street from Garfield Street to Holmes Avenue.

But Jefferson Elementary School Principal Thomas Sherwood said neither that nor the dog walkers are the reason for the posted 20 mph speed limit. The crosswalk at the Garfield-Kenyon intersection is.

"We do have students who cross at that crosswalk," Sherwood said. "The majority of students come on the bus, but we do have a number of students that do walk."

Sherwood added that the two baseball fields on the property also are utilized for open games, along with grassy areas that are used for open soccer, further necessitating some kind of speed reduction.

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