PARKER, FLA. (WMBB) — Since Bay District Schools ended its courtesy rides for students that live within two miles of their schools, some students have been forced to walk to school. That has led to some precarious routes for students.
In Parker, parent Venus Harris is walking her three children to Parker Elementary School every day. That walk is over a mile each way, and her children are forced to walk on the side of Bob Little Road, due to a closed bridge.
“Definitely an accident can occur,” Harris said. “I feel that if my children continue to walk without these sidewalks and continue to walk past that water plant somebody’s going to get hit. And I don’t want it to be one of mine. And I don’t want it to be anybody’s to be honest.”
Parker mayor Andrew Kelly told News 13 that the city plans to repair the bridge, but is unable to begin reconstruction until the Florida Department of Environmental Protection provides a permit. That permit is then sent to anchor engineering who must approve the permit before repairs can begin. But Harris believes the closed bridge creates dangerous walking situations.
“It’s a lot of children a lot of people walk around here and we need some sidewalks, better streetlights and we need these plants to not be flooding,” Harris said. “We need an engineer to come out and do what they need to do so that our children can get to school properly, so that we don’t have to worry about them getting hit by a car.”
Harris also hopes that a crosswalk for pedestrians is added to the intersection of Bob Little Road and Cherry Street.
However, the intersection is under the control of the Florida Department of Transportation, which does not currently have plans to update the intersection, an official said.
If the Bay County Transportation Planning Organization decided it was a priority to add a pedestrian walkway, the Department of Transportation said it would be more likely it would add a crosswalk.