Parents insisting sidewalk be built along school route Severna Park residents say road unsafe for pupils

December 17, 1998|By Kris Antonelli | Kris Antonelli,STAFF WRITER

Some parents in a Severna Park community, worried that their children might be hit by a car as they walk to school along busy Jones Station Road, are demanding that the school officials build a sidewalk or provide a bus.

"The only thing that separates the children from the road is a single white line on the pavement," said Luanne Kerrigan, whose first-grader attends Jones-Oakhill Elementary School.

"There is no curb, no nothing, nothing to stop a car from hitting a child."

Starting next month, Kerrigan's son and five other children will have to walk to Jones Elementary School on Hoyle Lane from their homes on Snellings Court. The children now ride a bus to Oakhill Elementary on Truckhouse Road, where they have been attending classes during the renovation of Jones Elementary.

"I have watched cars flying down the road, and there is no place for the children to walk," said Elizabeth Wilmot, another parent. "Drivers are drinking coffee, putting on makeup and talking on car phones. There is a curve there, and they do not expect to see walkers there."

School transportation officials say they are looking into putting a sidewalk along the 1,500-foot stretch of road, but that it is not essential.

If it turns out that the county owns the land along the road, a sidewalk could go in, said Winship Wheatly, head of the county school transportation department.

The county and the school system paid to have a sidewalk put in along a stretch of Old County Road recently.

"But there are many areas in the county where there is no sidewalk," said Wheatly. "And those kids are still walking to school."

Wheatly said school board policy dictates that students who live less than a mile from their school not be bused to school.

The Snellings Court children live eight-tenths of a mile from Jones Elementary.

The parents say walking is fine if it is safe. But they wonder where the children will walk when snow is plowed onto the shoulder of the road.

"I know that other kids have the same situation in the county, and I am sorry for that," Kerrigan said. "And their parents should be screaming about it, too."

Pub Date: 12/17/98

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