Road safety near some Kentucky schools to be improved

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MADISONVILLE, Ky. (WEHT) – When we think of school safety, we mostly think inside the classrooms and hallways.

Kentucky state officials are helping schools keep people safe when dropping off or picking up their children.

At the end of each school day at Pride Elementary School in Madisonville, there’s a line of cars all the way down Pride Avenue, full of parents waiting to pick up their child from school. This goes along with the students who choose to walk home from school as well. With so many people out when school ends for the day, a road project near Pride is one of many across Kentucky to get funding.

“It’s very hectic in the afternoons and in the mornings,” said Kristy Saint, Principal at Pride Elementary School.

“It’s a narrow two lane road, and if you have traffic that’s going around the parents that are waiting, you have to be really paying attention to everything around you, you’re surrouding areas,” added Alicia Pollard, who has two children attending Pride.

A project to install turn lanes near Pride Elementary will get $100,000 this fiscal year, and $1.2 million next year from the state. It’s part of $23 million in state funds for making roads near schools safer. Saint says while there have not been major incidents near the school, it’s the start of making it safer to go to and go home from school. 

“We were so over the top excited because it is a concern for us, and it is a huge issue in this community and the surrounding neighborhoods for us,” she said.

James Madison Middle School, also in Madisonville, plus schools in Daviess, McLean, Union and Webster counties are also getting state funds for projects ranging from adding turn lanes in their schools to improving nearby intersections. Pollard says it can also make it safer for the surrounding neighborhood.

“I’m sure that it’s frustrating for people in the neighborhood who are trying to get in and out of their house, as well of watching the safety of the kids, because there is so much traffic. I think it will be a lot better for the school, a lot better for the neighborhood,” she says.

(This story was originally published on April 22, 2021)

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