East-side parents concerned about the kids' dangerous walk to school

Parents frustrated over sidewalk upgrades

It's been said that you can't fight city hall. But how do you get what you want when it comes to safer streets?

That is the civics lesson they were teaching Friday at Tynan Early Childhood Education Center.

District 2 Representative Alan Warrick spoke to a group of parents concerned about a lack of sidewalks and lighting at the east-side campus on Gulf Street.

“We know in communities where there's lower income, parents aren't dropping kids off to school. Kids are walking to school.” Warrick said. “So if kids are walking to school, we want the kids to be safe every step of the way.”

Student Sarah Poindexter said that her dad is one of many people who keep a close eye on traffic in the area because speeding cars are a danger to the many children who walk to school.

“The cars keep on flying and the kids try to cross and they don’t stop for them, so somebody has to come in the middle of the street and make them stop so the little kids can cross,” Poindexter said.

Joeanna and Bryant Ellison, who live across the street from Tynan on Gorman Street, said that they are disappointed that their street has been left out of the planning process.

Bryant said that the early morning darkness is a particular challenge.

“They have early drop-off for the kids, and it's really early and there's no sidewalks. It's not enough lighting. It's not enough sidewalks for the school,” Bryant said.

Joeanna said that the flashing beacons in the area aren’t enough to keep the children safe.

“There are cars speeding 24 hours here. Come on now. They aren’t paying attention to that flashing light,” Joeanna said.

Warrick encouraged all the parents to become involved in their neighborhood association and, in the process, to develop the 2017 bond package being assembled by the city.

Warrick said that many of the people who have led improvement projects in the past are now elderly and not in the best of health. He said that a new generation of active citizens needs to become involved at the grassroots level.

“We need some young blood, so we have these parents of young children that are here at the school and they're engaged, but we need them to get engaged on the neighborhood association side so that they can get feedback,” Warrick said.

After to listening to the concerns of the crowd, Warrick said his staff will see what can be done to address their worries.

“There are sidewalks that weren't on our radar that we're going to add to our list and look at getting them improved fairly quickly because it looks like some significant need there,” Warrick noted.

Warrick told the parents that input on bond projects will be gathered until mid-December, so there's still plenty of time for everyone to make a case for their own neighborhood concerns.

Here is a link to the San Antonio web page with more information about the bond process:
http://www.sanantonio.gov/2017Bond

(© 2016 KENS)


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