Finding Safe Routes to Local Schools

Since there will be no school buses starting in September, the number of cars dropping off and picking up children will increase.  The increase cars have already a taxed the system with some cars arriving an hour early to pick up kids from the Ft. Banks School. The School Department and the Parent Teacher Organizations, as well as the town’s Transportation Advisory Board are discussing options for the upcoming school year.

Monday night Judith Crocker of the Massachusetts Safe Routes to School (SRTS) shared results of a study done last year, before anyone knew the busses were in jeopardy to discuss the upcoming school year.

“If there’s 200 cars on an average day and no school busses there’s going to be more cars and it becomes a public safety issue for the community and students,” Crocker said, adding that she will be at a school event on Aug. 19 to help educate parents.

One option will be  the Belle Isle Boardwalk and how it can be used by students to walk to school.

But there still is concern about the first rainy day and the impact of cars for kids who normally walk.

Crocker, who has met with Superintendent of Schools Lisa Howard and Principal Pearson, said SRTS encourages public elementary and middle school students to walk and bicycle to school for physical activity, ease traffic congestion, and foster continued growth of safe and sustainable communities.

The state-funded program through MassDOT, educates, provides encouragement, enforcement, evaluation and engineering.

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