A Safe Route To SchoolStono Park Elementary has ribbon cutting for completion of sidewalk project
November 27, 2013
Last week, students, parents, teachers at Stono Elementary School celebrated the culmination of a eight-year-long project involving poured concrete during the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new sidewalk that sits along its front on Garden Street.
According to Principal Michelle Simmons, eight years ago the state Department of Transportation (SCDOT) approved the construction of a sidewalk in front of the school so that kids didn’t have to walk to school in the road.
“The physical barriers that prevented students from safely walking and biking to Stono Park included the crossing of Wappoo Road across Savannah Highway leading to the school … No sidewalks were in front of the school and students were forced to walk in front of cars in the drop-off and pickup lines. And the lack of traffic calming (i.e. signage) since Garden Street is a straight road and a cut through for many neighborhoods,” said Rodney Oldham, SCDOT’S Safe Routes To School coordinator.
“The school’s Safe Routes to School Infrastructure grant allowed them to receive a new sidewalk in front of the school on Garden Street and along the side of the school on Huntley Drive,” said Oldham.
But the grant money, tied to a statewide initiative, got derailed a couple of times and the project ultimately took eight years to complete. By contrast, Hoover Dam, one of the largest structures in the world, took 6.6 million tons of poured concrete to complete, but only five years to construct.
But despite the delay, students, parents, and school officials are happy to have safety measures in place that will make walking and biking to Stono Park much safer. “Stono Park’s Safe Routes to School Infrastructure grant allowed them to receive a new sidewalk in front of the school on Garden Street and along the side of the school on Huntley Drive,” said Oldham. “Now, students will no longer be forced to walk in front of cars in the drop-off and pickup lines.”
Stono Park also received a flasher assembly on Betsy Road, as well as new flasher assemblies, highly visible crosswalks, and signage on Wappoo Road, West Ashley Greenway, and Huntley Drive. The school also received a canopy adjacent to the building so the kids wouldn’t have to stand in the rain while waiting to be picked up, bike racks and a storage building.