Several parents showed up to the first school board meeting of the year to complain about traffic chaos at both Promontory elementary and Evans elementary, including Gabriella Spanner. (Jessica Peters/ The Progress)

Jinkerson families raise walking concerns with school board

Steep hills, icy conditions, animals among lists of concerns for Chilliwack neighbourhood

Chaos.

That’s the common word parents on Promontory use to describe the morning commute.

They say their neighbourhoods have stretches of intersections without crosswalks, kids walking on roadways where necessary, and throngs of traffic at peak hours.

And it’s that hour before school starts, when everyone is getting kids to class or leaving the hill for work, that the poor planning of the neighbourhood is really evident, they say.

Gabriella Spanner was the first of several Promontory parents to speak up during a public participation portion of the last week’s school board meeting. She explained that her young son would have to walk an hour each way if she didn’t drive him or put him on a school bus. And since he can’t walk alone yet, an accompanying adult would have to spend up to three hours walking back and forth.

“That’s not even comprehensible,” she said. “The area is so unsafe lately, with all the new traffic.”

Not to mention all the other worries of sending a child off in the dark, such as wildlife common in the area, or potential predators.

She said the administration at the school has offered what is essentially useless advice, asking parents to find parking at the end of the day three or four streets away, telling the kids in the morning where to find them after school.

“How do I tell a five year old where I might be?” she asked.

Making matters worse this year, is the lack of parking lot space at the school as it undergoes construction. A team of volunteers, including Griffin Security members, have been at the school directing traffic. But the school is urging parents to avoid driving to the school if possible.

When Promontory elementary was built in 1994, the Jinkerson residential side of the hill didn’t even exist. The school was planned with a much smaller community in mind, as one parent pointed out at the meeting. But the hill hasn’t stopped growing yet, and there are only two main roads up and down.

Even school buses are reportedly having a hard time navigating the streets. Some parents who spoke on Tuesday noted that school buses were up to 20 minutes late for pickup multiple times the first week, caught in the congestion themselves.

It’s not uncommon to sit at an intersection for 10 to 15 minutes, they added.

Ultimately, the parents who spoke were asking that the walk limits be extended to include students from the Jinkerson area, and they encouraged staff to come out to the neighbourhood and walk the roads to see for themselves the dangers children are facing.

Peg Pede, who worked for 23 years for the school district as a secretary, also noted that for a child who sets out at 7 a.m. or sooner, it would be up to two hours before anyone would realize they hadn’t made it to school.

“Safety for the kids should be the first priority,” she said.


@CHWKcommunity
jpeters@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

On Oct. 19, gospel musician, Rob Berg, hosts first concert in Chilliwack in 25 years

Held at the Sardis Community Church, the concert celebrates his career and new album release

Outgoing Chilliwack board chair says anti-SOGI trustees won’t be allowed in schools

Candidates’ anti-LGBTQ rhetoric makes for awkward situations with students, teachers, administrators

The Fraser Valley Comedy Festival hosts its first annual 10-day festival

With low-cost shows featuring top comics, the FVC Festival is sure to tickle your funny bone

Chilliwack’s Aaron Douglas to be retried for first-degree murder

Sentenced to life in prison for one 2014 killing, first jury couldn’t come to a decision on second

Video: An up-close look at beluga whales in Hudson Bay

An up-close look as some belugas greet whale watchers off the coast of Churchill, Manitoba

Canucks: Pettersson in concussion protocol, Beagle out with broken forearm

Head coach Travis Green called the hit ‘a dirty play’

5 tips for talking to your kids about cannabis

Health officials recommend sharing a harm reduction-related message.

Elderly pedestrian killed in Burnaby collision

Police are looking for witnesses

NHL players say Canada’s legalization of marijuana won’t impact them

NHL players say the legalization of marijuana in Canada won’t change how they go about their business.

Automated cars could kill wide range of jobs, federal documents say

Internal government documents show that more than one million jobs could be lost to automated vehicles, with ripple effects far beyond the likeliest professions.

Private marijuana stores should shut down, Mike Farnworth says

B.C. has approved 62 licences, but they still need local approval

HPV vaccine does not lead to riskier sex among teen girls: UBC

Girls are less likely to have sex now than they were a decade ago

Most Read