UNION, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – You're not supposed to cross the intersection at Vauxhall Road by Brookside Drive, but people do.
There's nowhere to walk, no stop signs on this area for blocks," John Diaz said.
"It's our way of coming and going to school," Olivia Belloso added.
That made nine-year-old Jordan Vasquez nervous ahead of his first day of fourth grade.
Two days prior he wrote a letter to the mayor saying "I will have to walk home from school" and "this intersection is very dangerous and scary for me and other children to have to cross."
Thursday morning, the first day of school, Union police found a crosswalk spray painted on the street – but it wasn't placed there by the town.
Unfortunately, the unauthorized lines don't lead to a safe curb, but instead go right up to a residential home's front lawn.
Now they're looking for the perpetrator of what they're calling an act of criminal mischief.
"Do you know who did it?" CBS2's Ali Bauman asked residents.
"That I dunno… I hope that shows them we need something done about this corner," Wilma Belloso said.
Within hours, the township painted over the makeshift lines but the original problem persists.
"It drops you off in the middle of the street and you have to run across to your house basically," one student told CBS2.
The nearest legitimate crosswalk, where police say pedestrians should cross instead, is about a quarter mile away. Residents argue that one isn't much safer.
"It's an intersection of like three roads and that makes it even more difficult."
Jordan says he hasn't gotten a response to his letter yet. For now, he'll have to take the long way around.
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