Parents relieved after safer path to school in Pittsfield - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Parents relieved after safer path to school in Pittsfield

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Bridge over the ditch behind Pikeland Community School Bridge over the ditch behind Pikeland Community School
A look from the bridge toward the school A look from the bridge toward the school
The bridge allows a safer path for students to get to school The bridge allows a safer path for students to get to school
The ditch students had to go across before the bridge The ditch students had to go across before the bridge
The new path by the Quail Ridge subdivision in Pittsfield The new path by the Quail Ridge subdivision in Pittsfield
PITTSFIELD, Ill. (WGEM) -

If your kids walk or bike to school, you want to be sure they are going to be safe. In Pittsfield, parents are breathing easier after a safe route to school was built this summer.

Before bridge over a ditch behind the Pikeland Community School was put in this summer, students had to climb up and over the ditch. Michael Ten Eyck, a local pastor and father of three students, said it wasn't safe.

"Some people had boards strewed across, some people actually at one time had a ladder and kids would walk across in all these different ways, but it was really dangerous," Ten Eyck said.

Superintendent Paula Hawley said it is a popular short cut for the Quail Ridge subdivision and most of the southwest part of town.

"The whole southwest portion of the city can funnel into the bridge now and can safely walk or bike over to the middle school," Hawley said. "So it's a much safer route for our kids to get to school."

 If students didn't want to go through the ditch, many of them came around the high school which wasn't a safe alternative.

"When the high school is before and after, with new drivers, that probably scared me more than crossing the ditch," Ten Eyck said.

The bridge and sidewalk was put in by the city, but funded through the safe routes to school federal grant program.

"We got $33-34,000 for the project, which represents 80% of the total cost," Economic Development Director Bill McCartney said.

Ten Eyck said it's nice to have the peace of mind that their kids will get to school safely.

"When it was slick, you always had in the back of your mind are they going to slip on the concrete or fall, or something like that," Ten Eyck said. "So it's nice and very much a needed thing."
 

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