Local News

Parents question school's decision to have nearby students walk to class

Posted August 24, 2008
Updated August 25, 2008

— Some parents at Sycamore Creek Elementary School are upset that their children have to walk to school. They say the new north Raleigh school may be close enough for children to walk, but  busy Leesville Road is too dangerous.

“It irks us, yes, it does,” parent Tim Woodhead said.

Parents in the nearby neighborhood of Glen Arbor were happy to see the new 103,348-square-foot facility open this year – until they heard their child would be walking.

Some children living within 1.5 miles of the school, at 10921 Leesville Road, are not offered bus transportation. That surprised some parents.

"We were told that buses would not be a factor, that we would receive bus transportation due to the fact that the walk would be unsafe,” mother Michelle Cash said.

Parents argue Leesville Road, and neighboring streets, are too busy for young children to be walking along.

“Cars are racing up and down that street to beat the traffic on Leesville,” Woodhead said.

Some students living in the walk zone can ride the bus, but only if their homes are across Leesville street from the school.

"If it is not where the students can safely cross the road, then we would actually transport them across,” Eddy Adams, Wake County's senior director for transportation, said.

Children in the Glen Arbor subdivision live on the same side of the road as Sycamore Elementary, so they must walk.

School leaders say all children who live near a school are considered walkers unless the path is unsafe. School transportation officials add that they carefully studied neighborhoods around Sycamore Elementary  before deciding whether to offer bus transportation.

Parents say they will meet with those transportation leaders Wednesday to argue for bus transportation.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • pebbles262004 Aug 27, 2008

    It is not safe..I bet all the child molesters were glad to see this on the news. They'll be watching that area. They're is no way I would let my child walk to school in this day and time. Sure, back in the day you could walk to school , but not anymore.

  • SL 88 Aug 26, 2008

    If the kids are expected to walk on Leesville, what happens when they reach St Francis. There is no sidewalk in front of the church....

  • ncdowneast Aug 26, 2008

    Whine,whine, I walked and road a bicycle to elementary school, probably a mile or more one direction, who knows, get up in the morning, eat breakfast, get dressed, get your books, and get to school! The parents could do like our parents did, volunteer and stage parents in areas where there could be concerns of safety. Rotate the responsibilities of your child with other parent's, be involved, don't just expect the school administration to just bow-down.

  • Citizen7265 Aug 25, 2008

    I agree with the parents on this one. It is not safe to expect elementary children to walk to and form school in this day and age. There are very few zip codes you can enter without coming up with dozens of registered sex offenders ( and just think about all those who have not been caught ..... yet!) School areas are a prime target for pedophiles. It won't take but one issue with a pedophile, and WCPSS will be slapped with a major lawsuit because parents have expressed valid concerns that are being ignored. It is sad that our society has come to this, but our "tolerance" of all the wierdos in society has culminated in this.

  • teacher-mom Aug 25, 2008

    One and a half miles is too far for small children to walk to school. That road is terrible/ Had not really thought about the sex offenders...

  • james27613 Aug 25, 2008

    Would be interesting to have Sky 5 hover around the area
    Tuesday or Wednesday morning to show all the traffic
    congestion. Perhaps transportation will open their eyes to the problem.

    Another factor, New Leesville Rd is four lanes divided, it feeds
    into Leesville Rd at the traffic light and is one lane each
    direction, with new turn lane in and out of school.
    Add the drop off traffic to the existing commuter traffic and
    you will have massive GRID LOCK !

  • james27613 Aug 25, 2008

    Safe to walk, just punch up the zipcode 27615 in the
    sex offender website. Safe for the sex offenders, not our kids.

  • james27613 Aug 25, 2008

    The first at the new school, they put our neighbor's kid
    on the bus when he should have been in YMCA program !

    as for the other comment about getting a different
    schedule at your job, not everyone works at RTP and can do it,
    try to get a different start time working for state of NC
    or city or wachovia bank. Never happen.

  • james27613 Aug 25, 2008

    Alert: the meeting has been moved to 2 PM Wednesday.

    Looks like they want everyone outta there so they don't
    have to take all the heat about this mess.

    Transportation company are bunch of (???????), they talk junk
    to you and tell you too bad and laugh at you on phone.

    No crosswalks, No buttons to push to get the light to change,
    No 'No Turn on Red' signs.

    Cars blow the red light to turn onto Leesville Blvd
    from Leesville Rd. so they can get to RTP for their jobs.

    No Sidewalk from the church so the kids will be walking on the
    minimal width shoulder. New sidewalks are past the chruch.

    The entire road is a parking lot from 7:00 to 8:30 daily.

    We voted for bond money for wider Leesville Rd but they spent
    the money on other projects. Excuse: DOT wanted to wait for county to finish school and wided the road at their expense.

  • futbalfantic Aug 25, 2008

    "perhaps because we live in a world where an employer will end the hassle by firing the parent/employee and hiring someone younger, without kids and willing to work cheaper. Your kids worth getting fired for?
    August 25, 2008 3:56 p.m.
    Report abuse"

    Wow that right there is a great example of a steller parent