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Attleboro City Council denies La Salette nuns a crosswalk

[anvplayer video=”1260633″] ATTLEBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — The three nuns who work at La Salette Shrine say they’ll be relying on God and some reflective vests to cross the street after the city council voted against their request to build a crosswalk on Park Street.

The sisters, Theresa Kareng, Mila Delacruz and Francoise Rasoarevao will be moving into a newly renovated house across the street from the shrine in March, and wanted a crosswalk so they could safely travel to and from the shrine. The Attleboro City Council denied their request by a vote of 6 to 4 at Tuesday night’s meeting.

“It is their responsibility to provide [for] the people,” Sister Delacruz said. “Not only us. We are not only asking for ourselves, but all people especially those who come here every day.”

The majority of city councilors did not see it as such a simple issue. “Installing a simple crosswalk does not solve the problem,” Councilor Heather Porreca said at Tuesday’s meeting. “It is not going to provide them the safe traveling that they need to do.”

Porreca chairs the Traffic and Transportation committee of the council, and said she did extensive research before recommending against the crosswalk. In a phone interview with Eyewitness News, she said she believed the crosswalk would give the nuns a false sense of security because of the limited visibility and speed limit on Park Street.

“We are all sympathetic,” Porreca said. At the meeting, she and other councilors suggested alternatives such as a traffic light, lighted signs or a blinking light as safe options for the nuns–all of which would cost more than just a painted crosswalk.

“We’re in extreme budget times,” she said at the meeting. “I’m not saying that I’m trying to put a dollar sign on a person’s life.” She told Eyewitness News on Thursday that she plans to continue looking into how to improve pedestrian safety in the area.

The sisters were disappointed.

“We will see how the value of the money is more important than the value of the human being,” Sister Rasoarevao said. But the three had a positive attitude; they said they plan to wear safety vests and will use caution while crossing the street.

“We trust in God, that God will protect us,” Sister Kareng said.