Parents concerned over walking route to school

Posted at 9:13 PM, May 05, 2016

A neighborhood in the Papillion area is looking for answers when it comes to their children's safety while heading to school next year.

In Sarpy County, 114th Street between Giles and HWY 370 is a two lane road that's seeing a lot more traffic lately with tons of development including the recently opened Prairie Queen Elementary School just north of Werner Park.

This year, children that live in the Kingsbury Hills neighborhood east of 114th Street are bused to school, but that changes in August.

Stacy Souerdyke and Jennifer Rickley both have kids that go to Prairie Queen and are concerned about their young children crossing 114th St. at Lincoln Road to walk to school.

We understand it's not fiscally responsible to bus our children and we don't want that.  What we're asking is that they acknowledge that this is not a safe alternative at this time, it's not safe passage to school and we need them to work with us,” Souerdyke explained.

"When you see somebody come out to walk there is no signage that says there's going to be any pedestrian traffic, so it's kind of deer in headlights they kind of come out of nowhere,” Rickley described.

Papillion La Vista Community Schools says they don't bus children within a 4 mile radius of their school but made an acception.  They say children crossing major roads happens at many of the elementary schools, and it's the parent's responsibility to find the best route.

"Absolutely totally understand parents concerns about kids walking any distance to schools and that's really a decision that parents need to make as to what's in the best interest of their family,” said Annette Eyman, Communications Director at PLCS.

The Sarpy County Public Works Department says they will be improving the crosswalk and putting in pedestrian crossing signs before the new school year.  They say lighting is also an option.

Souerdyke and Rickley say they've discussed parents volunteering as crossing guards, but say they need everyone's help to get cars and trucks to slow down and pay attention to kids crossing.

There's also a three block stretch on Lincoln Road between 120th & 123rd Streets where there are no sidewalk.  The county says a Street Improvement District is responsible for paving the sidewalk in that area, but the SID said they didn't own the property.

Sarpy County says they will do a study on the intersection after the next school year starts to see if added safety measures, like a full pedestrian crossing light pole, are needed.