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Safer Route to School for Students

Work on new sidewalks and a bike lane on Kent Street leading to Hampden Meadows School in Barrington is expected to finish next week.

Students at Hampden Meadows School in Barrington will have a much safer road to walk or bike along by the end of next week.

Workers for Manuel R. Pavao Contractor have been laying concrete sidewalks along Kent Street between Sowams and New Meadow roads and around the school since students went home for the summer a few week ago.

“We expect to finish the work next week,” said Jason Pavao, project manager. “We had an Aug. 13 deadline.”

A subcontractor will then come in and stripe the road for the bike lane, Pavao said.

The new sidewalks and other improvements are being paid for with $174,000 in federal money under the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program, said Town Planner Phil Hervey.

“No local money at all,” he said.

Kent Street had no sidewalks at all -- only grass and dirt shoulders for kids to walk on before workers began the project. The sidewalk and bike lane will run along the south side of the street.

“We’ve been working on this for three or four years,” said former Hampden Meadows Principal Arlene Miguel when the awarding of the contract was announced several months go. “This is huge for safety and promoting health among children. The bike lane is awesome.”

Hampden Meadows has been pushing kids to ride their bikes to school for some time, she said, and many pupils ride to school already.

New sidewalks also run around the curved parking area in front of the school. The sidewalk that runs perpendicular from New Meadow past the flagpole on the front lawn to the main entrance to the school also is being replaced.

New bike racks also will be purchased for the school, said Hervey, who has been working on this project for several years as well.

DanComment July 13, 2012 at 11:28 AM
Now we just need a crossing guard for the bike route part that crosses county road by the bridge!
Marcia M. Weeden July 13, 2012 at 12:56 PM
When are they going to do something about ensuring a decent access to the Middle School behind the tennis courts? Many parents drive into the Roberta Dr. platt onto Joann Drive to let their children off and pick them up to take this back route to the Middle School. It saves the parents some time by not needing to wait in the front of the school and reduces the traffic congestion at the school. That path is rough, so muddy at times that shoes come off, and very dangerous in the winter when it ices over. This path is also used at night for children going to school functions and adults walking to the post office. There is no lighting there.
SteepleRunner July 13, 2012 at 03:23 PM
How about addressing the 'sidewalk' that runs along Lincoln Avenue? In most places it is indistinguishable from the road in most places. It is used by both Middle School and High School students throughout the year. In the winter it is plowed under and leaves kids walking in the road. Separately that back trail should NOT double as a back drop off for parents who can't be bothered to wait their turn at the designated pick-up place at the front of the Middle School. As it is, these parents, who are already rushing, come barrelling into Roberta Dr, off Lincoln Ave blantantly ignoring the speed limit and putting those kids who are walking home and who live in the neighborhood at risk since there are no sidewalks at all.
Marcia M. Weeden July 14, 2012 at 10:58 PM
I agree with SteepleRunner about the back trail. That is my neighborhood. There is no law against parents doing that, but if you're trying to drive through when kids are going or getting out of school, the traffic can get pretty bad.

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