Akron schools offer solutions to keep students away from dangerous traffic

AKRON, OH (WOIO) - With classes underway kids are learning to navigate the streets, to and from school.

Akron students along one busy stretch of road, are walking too close to passing cars.

Cleveland 19 went looking for answers as to what Akron is doing about it.

Educating kids, keeping them safe at school and making sure they can get to and from their schools without being hit by a car is high on the Akron agenda.

If you're standing here and you're a kid and you're not paying attention and maybe you step off the curb -- that can be a problem. In fact, along a stretch of Tallmadge Avenue more students have been hit during and shortly after school hours than on other streets near schools.

Mark Williamson, spokesperson for the Akron Schools, shows us the potential solution.

"Once we the city puts a bike lane in here it will offer that space, a little buffer, a little buffer so then the cars will essentially be however many feet away from the curb, which is a lot safer," he said.

As part of a $3 million project, which includes repaving Tallmadge Avenue from Main Street to State Route 8, the city is reducing the roadway from a busy four-lane street.

Akron has done this at other schools on streets with high traffic volume, including Butchel with good results.

"Cars will stay quite a distance. So, you'll see two lanes instead of four and two bike lanes and they'll be a turn lane in the middle of the street too. It makes total sense."

There is another important factor, however, keeping kids on the sidewalks. The district can not control that, so parents and kids here's where you come in.

"We need the students to do that first of all. So it doesn't matter what you do with the street if kids don't follow the rules, follow the laws then you've got a problem."

The resurfacing project is scheduled to be completed by mid September. Listen to this: fatal crashes in Ohio involving juveniles are the highest they've been in five years.

On Friday at 11 p.m., Carl Monday will look at the reasons why, and what you can do to keep your child safe on the way to school.

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