COLUMBUS (WCMH)– As the first day of school approaches for Columbus City Schools, thousands of students will walk to school, some on sidewalks.
Sidewalks and safe walkways are something that some people often take for granted.
“A lot of the time when it is dark in the morning or when it is snowing outside you are really close to cars in the street,” said Independence High School student Shayanna Hinkle-Moore.
This all started two years ago as a service project for the soon-to-be high school senior. Hinkle-Moore and three other classmates questioned students safety when walking to and from school.
“There are students from our school that live at the apartments on Noe-Bixby and that is a very dangerous area because there are no sidewalks over there,” said Hinkle-Moore.
The majority of high school students walk to school in the East Side neighborhood. Making the winter months difficult and unsafe for students to travel especially in front of the school on Refugee Road.
“When you’re talking about two or three inches of snow our students want to be walking on soiled ground not in grass and snow,” said Independence High School principal Ernest West.
After months of gathering research, the group of students presented their proposal of adding sidewalks to the student body and the South East Commission. Soon after it then reached Columbus City Council Member Emmanuel Remy and the rest of Council.
“This is part of an investment $4-million that the city put in and $2.5-million the council added this year to make sure we are filling in the gaps to make safe pathways to schools,” said Remy.
Hilltonia Middle School in the Hilltop is one of the first of many neighborhoods schools that got new sidewalks over the summer.
“There is a number of students that walk to school. We Want to make sure they are not walking in the streets,” said Remy.
A project that has been two years in the making, the fruits of these students labor is finally paying off.
“It is really good to see our work being put into action,” said Hinkle-Moore.