Walking to school may soon be safer for some students at Woodrow Wilson Middle School in Moline.
Tuesday night city council unanimously voted to apply for a Illinois Department of Transportation Safe Routes to School grant worth $200,000.
If the city is awarded the grant it would pay for new sidewalks along 18th Avenue and 48th Street Place. It would also replace some sidewalks along 48th Street Place, closer to the school, with wider sidewalks. Other improvements would include ramps and replacing old driveways that students have to cross.
Some students told Local 4 News that this time of year the walk gets a lot harder because soon they’ll have to walk through mounds of snow, which gets into their boots.
If they get new sidewalks, the students said it won’t be a problem anymore because they’ll be shoveled.
Parents are happy about the possibility too because it gets their students farther away from traffic.
“Cars go really fast down this road,” said Kathleen Lee, who was picking up her granddaughter from school. “I think we’ve always picked her up. Just seems safer.”
Jennifer Jacobs said the sidewalks are only part of the solution.
“There are no police here. Nobody monitors the road. They don’t monitor cellphone use. They don’t monitor the 20 mile per hour it says back there and people fly through here,” said Jacobs, whose daughter is in seventh grade at Wilson.
So far there haven’t been any accidents at the middle school, but Jacobs said she’s seen some close calls.
“I still see children running across the street here unfortunately,” she said. “It hasn’t been nice to watch.”
That’s why Jacobs said the top priority should be getting more crossing guards for the school.