Providing safer school zones with walk audit; 5th graders voice concerns

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SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. The Tri City Active Living Advisory Committee is conducting a walk audit to provide safe walkable pathways for students traveling to school.

They worked alongside 5th graders and staff from Lincoln Heights Elementary to see what is working and what needs to be improved.

Volunteers for the walk audit were placed on every intersection of the elementary to check for any potential red flags.

Positives include travelers by car went the speed limit and dropped off their kids in the designated school zones.

The negatives come from speed limit signs not being displayed by the school, people parking in red zones and students not utilizing the cross walks.

Many students would like to walk to school but their parents might not feel it is safe to do so.

“Most of my friends are okay,” said Abigail Donkel, 5Th Grader. “It’s more of their parents that aren’t okay with them walking to school. Their parents are afraid that they are not close enough to walk or their kids are going to get hurt.”

Students say if you include speed limit signage and a sign for travelers not dropping off a student to the school to go around would be helpful.

“More signs and a sign that says if you are not dropping off a kid, go around the school,” explained Donkel. “Go around a different block.”

They also say to add a crossing guard for safety.

“Some people don’t feel safe because they don’t live far away,” said Jordyn Hyde, 5th Grader. “Some people don’t feel safe because in the front of the school, people just speed on by and they are afraid to cross that street.”

The Tri City Active Living Advisory Committee has conducted walk audits at Westmoor Elementary, Lincoln Elementary, Roosevelt Elementary and Scottsbluff High School.

Each school will receive $1000 to purchase and build environment used to promote safety.