Getting your child to school safely is something no parent wants to worry about. However, there’s been rising concerns from parents in the area about the safety of their children getting to school.
There were over six-thousand pedestrian deaths due to traffic collisions in 2018 according to the National Highway Traffic Administration.
One parent at Fort Lincoln Elementary tells KX she is very concerned about not only her kid’s safety but anyone walking around this area, because of the lack of crosswalks and sidewalks.
Jennifer Froehlich says, “It’s just scary I worry about my kids every day and my 5-year-old actually almost did get hit.”
Froehlich says even though the driver was going the speed limit and doing everything he was supposed to do, there are still blind spots and still more needs to be done.
“19th Street is just the scariest intersection for little kids to walk,” says Froehlich. “You know you can teach them to look both ways but when they come up that hill — I mean that’s a blind spot there is no way to prepare if you’re halfway to do a quick run across or run back.”
Froehlich is not the only parent that has raised concerns and the Mandan Police Department says they have gotten calls.
Mandan’s Chief of Police, Jason Ziegler says, “We do get some speeding complaints down in that area. We are also concerned about every school area not just Fort Lincoln Elementary.”
The school district did not want to go on camera but say they take students’ safety very seriously.
The school, city, and park district say they have responded to the concerns and received a $148-thousand grant being used for a trail that is hoped to provide more safety to students walking or biking to Fort Lincoln Elementary. They have done on-site evaluations at all the public school buildings in Bismarck-Mandan and reached out to staff and parents.
Fort Lincoln says they are doing their best to keep their students safe. The school says they do have crosswalk guards to help with the safety of children and you can see them in the orange vests.
Ziegler says, “Fort Lincoln is pretty good because they have a staff member out there helping the kids cross with the reflective vest and the stop signs which is good because that is needed.”
However, Froehlich tells KX she hasn’t seen anyone or anything being done for the kids that are living west of the school, where she says is the most dangerous.
“There’s no one absolutely nobody. And my mom and my mother in law all are just scared and they sit at the end of my crosswalk to watch the kids and make sure they get across but there is no one helping them,” Froehlich tells KX.
While she is hopeful that the construction will help with the safety issues, she says something needs to be done now.
“Like I said, I know it’s being done it’s in the process,” says Froehlich. “But what can we do until… because I’m surprised kids haven’t or a pedestrian hasn’t, in general, hasn’t gotten hit or killed or anything because it’s horrible.”
Due to weather, construction for the project has been delayed. They are under contract to finish as soon as the weather allows in 2020.
Froehlich also suggests the school should think about video recording the intersection when school is let out to see just how concerning it is. She wants to make this issue more aware so something will be done.
A robust study was done about the safety of school traffic in the area and for more information you can, click here.