West Madison neighborhood considers crossing guard a part of the family

Community makes small gestures of thanks during Wisconsin Crossing Guard Recognition Week
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 5:00 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 13, 2022 at 7:01 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Crossing guard Terry Tappy enjoyed extra waves and greetings on Thursday during statewide Crossing Guard Recognition Week.

After nine years on the job, Tappy said early hours and frigid temperatures are not a problem.

”Even when it’s cold outside like this or it has been cold I still enjoy getting up and getting out there,” he said.

Tappy tries to learn and remember his regular pedestrians’ names.

“It’s kind of neat because you see them when they’re in elementary school and then you get to see them when they’re in high school,” Tappy said. “You get to see all of the changes and they do change.”

People who live near his post at Commonwealth Ave and S. Allen St. appreciate his work.

”We consider Terry a national treasure,” Lesley Bartlett said.

She takes extra steps to show her appreciation.

”In the mornings that I can I make an extra cup of coffee and bring it out,” Bartlett said. “He has a little thermos in his car. I fill up his thermos and that way after the end of a very cold shift he has a way to warm up on his way home.”

City of Madison’s West Side Crossing Guard Supervisor Alex Stewart said their guards provide the city with crucial safety improvement necessities.

“With their feedback we can have our friends here at traffic and engineering implement permanent improvements to the intersections that make it safer for pedestrians using that crosswalk,” Stewart said. “Whether the guard is on duty or not.”

One example is the flashing posts that have ‘street crossing’ buttons.

Stewart said the best way to recognize Madison’s crossing guards is to wave and say thanks when people walk by.

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