With all the ways to get to school, walking is the only option for some students. With the sidewalks around Blake ending and starting at the most inconvenient places, those students are sometimes forced to walk on muddy grass or on the road itself to get to school, leaving the safety of it all in question.
For the vast amount of students that walk to Blake every day, that number only enlarges for all the schools across the county. If we can add safety measures for students riding buses, including crossing bars, to prevent them from being involved in an accident, the least we can do is create a safe place for students to walk.
New teenage drivers pose a huge risk to those walking. The beginners tend to not obey the speed limits, fail to make proper turns or stay in their lane. Even adults that have been driving for more than 20 years can get annoyed and use the shoulders to cut past other drivers, adding more risk for students’ safety. While this is more of a personal issue depending on the driver, driving convenience should not be put before pedestrian safety.
Student’s safety is also compromised during school testing days. For those not participating, sometimes students take walks down to the Safeway to chill until class starts. However, it is extremely unsafe for groups of students to be walking on the side of the road, especially during times of heavy traffic.
Not only would students be thankful for a safer path, but members of the community would love to have a safe place to walk freely. It is a win-win for everyone.
We also cannot forget about the bikers. With few dedicated bike lanes around MoCo, they end up shrinking into slivers of asphalt barely wide enough for a bike, forcing them to ride in the road or on the grass. It can be hard to get motivated to ride a bike on the way to school when there is the intimidating possibility of a soiled trek, or even getting hit by a car.
Sharing regular sidewalks between walkers and bikers can be dangerous. But, installing separate bike lanes would result in construction and road closings which school zones cannot afford in terms of time and convenience. The only reasonable solution is a large enough sidewalk to fit both.
Safety should come first when it comes to all students, not only those who use vehicle means of getting to and from school. Accidents between those walking to school and cars are something that we need to continue to avoid in the future. Sidewalks would be a great help to the protection of our walkers and bikers and an overall relief to those who do.