This year the county where I live has decided to save money by cutting a lot of the area school buses. The rule is if you live 1.5 miles away, you walk. It’s not something every one has been excited about. Last year, the bus for middle school and elementary school stopped at my driveway, but now we have to walk. Don’t get me wrong there are pluses and negatives to this story. Pluses: everyone gets much needed exercise, I’ve lost several inches in the last month (yes!) and there are kids who need to get up and walk instead of sitting around with their eyes glued to their video games, TV’s and cell phones. Minus…..our childrens’ safety.
Tuesday, a young girl got hit by a car because of a very unsafe area near the school. The top end of the street where the kids come out of our subdivision to get to the sidewalk and go to school is not safe. In my opinion it’s never been safe for cars trying to merge into traffic BEFORE the buses were pulled. Impatient drivers pay no attention to the school 25 mile per hour signs that are posted in the area and continue to fly through the intersection. Even though the kids walk safely from the school to the subdivision on a sidewalk the danger comes when turning into the subdivision or when crossing the street of the subdivision to continue walking down to other subdivisions. This street merges into a turn lane where drivers are too busy looking out for cars that are entering or leaving the subdivision to avoid car accidents. No one is paying attention to the kids who are trying to cross to get safely to the sidewalk and go home. Add to the fact that now you have about fifty kids walking, barely any adults available to help the kids cross, drivers who are coming and going from the subdivision and people who are speeding in the 25 mile per hour zone in a bottle necked sharp curve and bad things are going to happen, such as what happened to this young lady on Tuesday.
The messed up part is the county is saying that the reason the girl crossed the street had nothing to do with whether the area is a safe crossing zone. SO WHAT SHE WENT TO GET SOME CANDY!!!!!! I have seen some parents waiting across the street for their kids to walk down and have to help them get across to the gas station where they are waiting. Why? Who knows, maybe because there’s already plenty of cars lined up and down the street in the subdivision making the already tight turn where people aren’t paying attention to the kids is full and there’s no where else to park!
Now that I’ve caught my breath…..If the county doesn’t want to bring the buses back, fine, I get that. But they can afford to pay a school crossing guard to come to that intersection and help the kids get across safely. There are no crosswalks in the area except for at the school. In my opinion the kids need help here as well. As parent’s we try to help as many unattended kids as we can, but are we wearing yellow jackets and holding up signs that say ‘stop’? No, so nobody’s paying us any attention either. Our lives are in just as much jeopardy as the kids. The county can afford to post another crossing guard here! Another cheep resource…..post a police officer at the gas station who’s presence alone will encourage people to SLOW DOWN!
The little girl that got hit had a driver stopped to let her cross. She got hit because an impatient driver decided not to wait because the car in front of him needed to stop…..he went around and side swiped the girl. What an idiot. What if that girl wasn’t crossing to get candy and was doing it because her parent was sitting there waiting for her to get in the car? So now the reason WHY a kid is crossing the street is the problem??? Guess what…if she were on a BUS she wouldn’t have been trying to cross the street anyway!
You know what? In my opinion, we would not be in this situation if the Georgia governor had taken the stimulus package that Obama offered to all the states after he went into office. A lot of government funded programs have begun to be cut off in the last two years. The Arts programs have gotten tremendous cut backs….local city buses are now no more and now the kids school buses. Teachers are being let go, schools in the city of Atlanta and surrounding areas have been shut down. Government places like the library are taking furlough days and closing early. This is ridicules. What do we pay taxes for?
Soon they’ll be no schools.