(Columbia) - With just 13% of students walking to school, teachers and parents want to up that number by improving the areas around them.
Rosewood Elementary is just one of a handful of schools in South Carolina working with a “Safe Routes to School” grant to do just that. Committee members are focusing in on Rosewood Drive.
Hope street is the perfect spot for Rosewood Elementary mom Gabi Kunzli to catch up with her son, Sylvio. They walk to and from school everyday.
But the walk takes a turn for the worse once the duo hits Walker Street. It flows into Rosewood, a road better suited for drivers, not walkers.
“In terms of crossing, where the crosswalks are painted on rosewood, they're not respected by cars. If you're out there, I don’t really see people slowing down. You have to walk pretty fast to get across Rosewood,” said Kunzli.
But Rosewood Elementary's "Safe Routes to School" grant could put the brakes on the problem.
“We're hoping to make this a safer crossing for students, whether it's a raised crossing, or paints,” said Rosewood teacher Tracy Shaw.
She’s heading up the committee to use $200,000 dollars to make the routes safer by October. One idea, making the intersection of Walker and Rosewood a crosswalk. Right now, there’s only one at Rosewood and Ott.
“I know a lot of our parents are saying it'd be great if we had a traffic light there. I don’t know if that's a possibility, still have to get with engineers, but this crossing particularly dangerous,” said Shaw.
They're also thinking about improving the one crosswalk with a crossing guard. That could include making the lines on the road brighter or creating and island in the middle of the road for the kids to stop in between traffic.
“If you're coming down Rosewood, it's almost like it dips down there, (near Ott) it's the lowest point of the hill, so drivers are picking up speed,” said Shaw.
But safer routes could bring out more walkers and make drivers take note: they're not the only ones who rule the road.
“I'm hoping with this grant, we can make rosewood a viable thoroughfare for the pedestrians, bikers and motorist who use it everyday," said Kunzli.
Rosewood Elementary has until February 15 to submit their monetary proposals to the Department of Transportation.