Tucker Students to be Safer In and Around Schools This Fall
Students and teachers in Tucker’s seven cluster schools are out for the summer, but at the schools themselves, there is a lot of important work going on to enhance safety. Much of this is being done by the City of Tucker in collaboration with the DeKalb County School District. So, what are some of the big improvements happening?
Tucker leaders have heard plenty of feedback over the past couple of years about the need for safe crossings at schools in the Tucker Cluster. These schools all have traditional crosswalks for students to use, but time and again drivers are distracted or simply will not yield to pedestrians looking to cross the road.
As a response, Tucker’s City Engineer Ken Hildebrandt worked with the Mayor and City Council to get money allocated for state-of-the-art lighted crosswalks at three schools around the City. Tucker Middle School got the first of those crosswalks installed back in April. The flashing lights of the crosswalk are activated when a button is pushed on the signpost by those hoping to cross the street. Once the lights catch drivers’ attention and they bring their cars to a complete stop, students can cross without fear for their safety.
An additional lighted crosswalk is coming to the south entrance to Tucker Middle School this summer, as well as to Brockett and Midvale Elementary Schools. And it bears mentioning that these lighted crosswalks are solar powered, meaning they’re good for the environment!
Walkability has been a much-discussed topic in the City of Tucker. This spring, the City tackled a sidewalk gap project where they used a study identifying roads where sidewalks abruptly stopped, then started again, and constructed sidewalks to connect those stops and starts. Streets like Hugh Howell, Elmdale and a handful of others are now more pedestrian friendly.
The focus is shifting now to areas where children walk to or from school. This summer, work will continue on the highly anticipated sidewalk connecting Tucker Middle School and Lawrenceville Highway. Crews will be looking at engineering design and easements along Idlewood Road to prepare for construction of the sidewalk. Whereas in the past students had to walk through gravel lots or along the shoulder of the road, they will soon have a sidewalk where they can safely make their way to school.
Other sidewalk projects that will enhance student safety are looming, including one that’s been several years in the making along Henderson Road.
ROUTINE MAINTENANCE AND IMPROVEMENTS
DeKalb County School District has teams working on school grounds throughout the summer, as well. While the improvements they’re making do not have an impact on the general population like crosswalks and sidewalks do, they are specifically done for the benefit of students and faculty.
When class starts back up in August, various schools in the Tucker Cluster will have seen ADA improvements, facilities upgrades and other infrastructure priorities addressed. While Tucker’s middle and high school buildings are relatively new, its elementary schools are all older, meaning this kind of work in the summertime can stave off big problems during the school year.