St. John - Every week during the school year, a group of 4th, 5th and 6th graders walk in the street from the Ida Long Goodman Memorial Library to the County Annex building for the Life After-School Program. On a daily basis, St. John residents can be seen walking in the streets because there are no safe or existing sidewalks.
“I am for and would support any measures that would make a child's transportation safer, whether that be walking, riding a bike, scooter, skates,” said Chief Adam Sayler of the St. John Police Department. “In my experience, anything that makes it safer and easier for children on where they should travel, such as a bike trail, a designated path, sidewalk, is beneficial. It is also beneficial for vehicle drivers to know that the streets will be clear of children and pedestrians.”
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s statistics on pedestrian or bicycle crashes:
“In our streets, it’s not a matter of ‘IF’ a child or pedestrian will be struck by a vehicle, but “WHEN”,” said Ashlee Bevan, Program Director for Stafford County Economic Development and Live Well Stafford County. “We believe that sidewalks and safe walking paths are not merely for walking but should be a priority of safety and well-being for our community.”
With the help of a $2,500 grant from Kansas Health Foundation in 2015, Stafford County Economic Development hired an engineer with BG Consultants who identified sidewalks in desperate need of repair in St. John and designed improvements for the Frist Street corridor. Although sections of sidewalk in the Master Walk and Bike Plan are being repaired and replaced, there are other areas frequently traveled that have not yet been improved.
"People may believe that every driver on our roads will always, every single time, pay attention,” Bevan said. “But it only takes one person to get distracted and that reality can change for us."
About the Live Well Stafford County
Live Well Stafford County is a volunteer-based health coalition dedicated to improving the health of all Stafford County residents by building local infrastructure that supports walking and biking to maximize safety, economic, accessibility and environmental benefits. LWSC is invested in community education to promote healthy lifestyles and improve the overall quality of life for all residents.
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Stafford County Economic Development
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