Local News

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

Posted August 24, 2008 6:24 p.m. EDT
Updated August 25, 2008 12:11 p.m. EDT

— 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.