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Mom Says Manchester Streets Unsafe for Kids to Walk to School

Many more residents took to social media Wednesday to voice their frustrations with the state of town streets and sidewalks as children returned to school.

The following is an open Manchester resident Kristen Gordon sent to town and Board of Education officials on Wednesday, Feb. 13 2013 and posted on the Manchester Patch Facebook page

Dear Mr. Kisiel et al.,

I am writing to you as a concerned parent. I have two children that attend Manchester public schools. I am absolutely confounded by the decision of your office to open schools today considering the current condition of most sidewalks and streets in the town. 

The pictures I have attached were taken this morning at the bus stop. There are several students who use this bus stop [address removed]. As you can see, [address removed] has not cleared any part of the sidewalk, posing a very serious threat to the safety of these children. Please keep in mind that due to the amount of snow on the side of the roads, parents can not safely park on the street to wait for the bus.

I contacted your office yesterday afternoon with concern about the bus stop not being cleared and I was told that the town was working on making sure all bus stops were cleared and safe. I contacted the Manchester Police Department last night with my concern and I was told that they are allowing for leniency due to the amount of snow that must be removed. An officer was sent to speak with the homeowner, however, I was surprised when the supervisor I spoke with suggested that I keep my children home, or drop them off at school. 

I am very understanding of the situation the town is in due to Winter Storm Nemo, but I must say that opening the schools when a great part of the student population is unable to safely get to and from school is reckless. Is the Town of Manchester/Board of Education willing to step up and accept responsibility if a student is injured, or God forbid, killed because of this hasty decision to have school back in session?

At the very least, I expect that if Manchester schools are to remain open for the remainder of the week, the town will ensure that all students have either a safe way to walk or get on the bus. I appreciate your prompt attention to this issue.

Mallory lavigne February 14, 2013 at 03:56 PM
I hope this is not from one of the same parents i was reading about the other day on the Manchester patch posts. Because just the other day half of them were upset the schools were not open. And basically complained about being home with their kids. Suck it up and clean it up. Why wait around...help thy neighbor.
Kristen Gordon February 14, 2013 at 04:54 PM
I was not one of those parents that complained about schools not being open. I cleared my own property, and would gladly help a neighbor clear theirs. This homeowner does not usually clear their walk; individual parents can't be responsible for clearing every unshoveled sidewalk in Manchester so that their children can get to school safely. I have one highschooler and one kindergartner that use this bus stop. It should be pointed out that the highschool stop used to be a few blocks away from this site, but was recently changed due to a pedestrian being killed while crossing an intersection close by. Obviously it is not safe for ANYONE to be standing or walking in the street, especially when most roads in town are half the width they should be. If homeowners cleared the sidewalks in a timely manner (and four days should be suficient) this would not be an issue. I did keep my children home from school yesterday, and I let the schools know why. I would keep them home again if it was still unsafe, but this is not an option for many parents in Manchester. Personally I can't drop off/pick up my children from school everyday indefinitely because I work full time. This wasn't written for only my children, it was written for every Manchester student, especially the ones who have to walk. This is not about helping a neighbor or keeping kids home/driving them to school, it is about the responsibility the Board of Ed and the Town of Manchester has to keep ALL students safe.
barbara petrone February 15, 2013 at 02:10 AM
Although most homeowners and businesses have cleared the sidewalks, there are still those who have not and it is not safe for kids to walk to school/bus stops. So, I am driving my grandkids - but this morning at 11:00am I was going up Slater Street and came upon 5 town trucks working with a state DOT truck and a Manchester cruiser clearing section of Slater between light at Best Buy up to Buckland Hills Dr. Why would the town allow 5 town trucks to clear area around a commercial area when so many intersections in town are clogged. People are trying to cross,at intersections that have not been cleared. We have kids in town crossing at intersections where road lanes have been reduced and drivers are taking chances passing. The majority of homeowners and businesses have done a good job, but the town and state (Route 6/44) are nowhere to be seen - well, go up to the mall area - and you will see where public works are putting their efforts.
Mark LeClair February 20, 2013 at 02:16 PM
Can't wait to see how you vote on budget increases this year....since you want to see an open checkbook of spending Mr. Lange.
Mark LeClair February 20, 2013 at 02:18 PM
Appalled Mr. Edlund? How big of a stick should we use to whack the elderly, infirm, handicapped or otherwise unable residents to get out and shovel? And what about those who are physically overwhelmed and don't have access to a fancy snowblower or the money to hire extra help? I'm sure you thought about all of this during your shock and awe.

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