Sidewalk upgrades set for five High Point schools

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HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Parents in High Point are applauding a new effort to add more sidewalks around five area schools.

Oak Hill, Fairview and Shadybrook elementary schools along with Triangle Lake Montessori and Johnson Street Global Studies will benefit from a $500,000 federal grant to pay for new sidewalks. The Safe Routes to Schools program is run through the North Carolina Department of Transportation. Its goal is to connect broken areas of sidewalk between the school and surrounding neighborhoods.

The City of High Point is adding $100,000 that will pay for engineering, right of way and utility relocation costs.

Oak Hill parents said adding sidewalks to the neighborhood would alleviate safety concerns.

"You need more sidewalks around here that way you wouldn't have to walk out on the road," said Dee Meadows. "I've seen parents with their kids that don't want to walk in the people's yards so they walk in the road and they've nearly been hit several times."

No parents or area daycare leaders could recall any auto-pedestrian accidents around Oak Hill but some said sending their kids to school alone is not an option.

"I feel like I have to come down and walk with her because it's not safe," said Sonia Martinez.

Martinez walks her daughter Jasmine to and from school every day and also walks to the grocery store and other businesses because she doesn't have a car. She hopes the added sidewalks will also help make running errands safer.

The city of High Point is working on construction plans but can't say how far away from schools sidewalks will be built.

Construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2015 with construction going through the summer.

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