Keller ISD parents losing bus service want sidewalks for students

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by CASEY NORTON

WFAA

Posted on July 27, 2011 at 5:30 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 27 at 5:47 PM

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FORT WORTH - In a matter of weeks cars and trucks will share the road with Keller students who cannot afford to ride the bus to school.

"With the busing fee now, our children have no way to get to safely get to school without having sidewalks or good marked intersections or crosswalks," said Charlene Fallis. 

Fallis can't afford more than $300 per semester to put her children on the bus.

Her high school aged child may have walk two miles to Timber Creek High School, some of it without marked crosswalks or sidewalks. 

Harvest Ridge neighborhood has sidewalks, but major roads like Keller-Haslet and Keller-Hicks do not.

Fallis blames the city of Fort Worth for not making developers put in sidewalks when the roads were built and the population started booming.

One of the biggest concerns for parents is the new Ridgeview Elementary. Some students were reassigned to the new building that now lies across Highway 377. The four lane road does not have crossing signals, crosswalks or sidewalks. Students would also have to go over railroad tracks to get to school.

Further south, the Keller Hicks bus route remains the most direct path for students to walk to the middle and intermediate schools near the Villages Woodland Springs.

Joli Drain has children in high school, middle school and elementary school.  She would have to pay hundreds of dollars to put them on the bus. 

Last year, Keller ISD made her area an exception to the two mile rule because Keller Hicks road was deemed too dangerous for pedestrians. 

Drain worries about the combination of a traffic and hazards along the shoulder this fall.

"And you see kids marching through the weeds, trying to stay on the side of the road. And that's where to me it gets really scary," she said. "What happens when they go into the street to get out of the weeds?"

Several neighborhood associations are now writing letters to the Fort Worth City Council.

If the letters do not work, they said they are prepared to bring white roadside crosses to meetings.

Fallis wants to show council members the cross before a student is killed, "saying here's you cross for the first time you have to put that up. And I hate that is a thought, but unfortunately it's probably going to happen."

Fort Worth just completed a survey on roads and sidewalks. Staff was still pulling data from particular zip codes and neighborhoods, but did not have enough information to determine which areas might be priorities.

E-mail  cnorton@wfaa.com

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