EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSParents Worried About Dangerous Sidewalk In Charleston
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Katelyn Sykes
Videographer: Katelyn Sykes
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Oct. 9, 2013 10:37 AM EDT
Updated: Oct. 9, 2013 10:32 PM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
Wednesday is National Walk to School Day, which encourages students to skip the bus and go for a walk to school if they can. The goal is to promote safe routes to school, but parents and teachers at one Charleston school said one route in particular is anything but.
Parents and teachers said the sidewalk along Oakwood Road between George Washington High School and Overbrook Elementary School is dangerous, unsafe and something needs to be done to fix it.
"Our parents walking children to school don't really have a good sidewalk to get on, and the other side of the street has no sidewalk so they're kind of thrown on that lopsided sidewalk and it makes it really difficult," Overbrook Elementary School Principal Barbara Floren said.
One of those parents is Jennifer McIntyre. She has two kids at Overbrook Elementary School and walks this route when she can.
"We live right up here on Smith Road, so there's no reason for them to ride the bus. But sometimes it's safer for them to ride the bus than it is to walk," McIntyre said.
McIntyre said not only is the sidewalk too narrow, but there's not much of a shoulder. Just the other day she witnessed a car actually driving on the sidewalk. She said the sidewalk itself is also in poor shape and at times it's at a 45-degree angle.
Her son who is in kindergarten fell one day while walking to school.
"Somebody is going to get hurt," McIntyre said. "We worry that we're going to get hit, honestly is my biggest fear."
Floren said she has been looking for help from city, county and state officials to get the sidewalk fixed. She said several years ago the school looked into a grant but couldn't get enough interest into it.
Now she's hoping to get enough people on board to get the sidewalk repaired before someone gets seriously injured.
"If we could help in anyway to raise money, to have a grant or to participate in any kind of fundraiser to get money for the sidewalks, we would do that -- for safety," Floren said.
One of the goals of National Walk to School Day is to promote safe routes to school. A third of walks nationwide have resulted in safety measures such as sidewalk additions, paths, crosswalks, crossing guards and signage.
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