Long walk to school concerns parents

Several parents in Midlothian say the school district took away bus service to their children's elementary school.        

The district decided that a newly-installed sidewalk would allow kids to cut through a neighborhood to get to school, but a lot of parents have emailed FOX 4, concerned that the route is too far and too dangerous.

“It’s a 55-minute walk one way,” said Lynlee Wise. Wise is frustrated that the Midlothian Independent School District took her 10-year-old son's bus away.

The route would leave her son, Landin, who is hearing-impaired, with a nearly two-mile walk with a backpack.

Wise is not the only one who is upset. About a half-dozen parents have emailed FOX 4 with their concerns.

“At first, I thought maybe we could do it,” said parent Laurie Huber. “But then I walked that route with two of my kids during the summer…it was long and hot, and it’s hot now and it will soon be cold.”

Huber says the school's transportation website shows that she about a mile from school, but that would be if her kids walked along FM 663.

But children in the Hillcrest neighborhood clearly cannot walk along the 55-mile-an-hour roadway.

So the school district created a nearly two-mile route where many kids have to walk south just to go back north.

“It’s zigzag through all these neighborhoods,” said Wise. “It's like 15 different turns to get to school.”

Robert Mapes wants the people who took away his grandson's bus to walk the route.

“See how they'd feel if they were an 11-year-old child and had to walk through these construction sites,” he said. “Walk out in the street. At 7 o’clock in the morning, people are going to work, they’re backing out of their driveways. But there's not one person I've talked to that will let their child walk this route.”

The school district emailed FOX 4 a statement that the area is within the state’s guidelines for walk zones. Those guidelines do require sidewalks for all areas over 30 miles an hour.

The neighborhood, at 30 miles an hour, is just below that cutoff.