Fruita Trail Project Gives Kids Safe Route to School
KREX News Room
FRUITA, Colo. Fruita moms and dads can breathe a little easier once their kids head out the door for school. Construction crews worked day-in and day-out over the summer to complete a series of trails which will provide children a safer way to get to school.
Half-way finished, the trail system will eventually be longer than a mile, allowing some families to walk to school for the very first time.
Rim Rock Elementary principal, Tami Kramer, said, "When the bus distance was changed from one to two miles, that increased the foot traffic and bike traffic a lot."
"Before we started this project there was a number of empty fields and missing connections between roadways along the 18 1/2 Road corridor. Sections north of J road have been completed and the sections north of J.2 have been completed," said City Engineer Ken Haley.
The new trails connect neighborhoods to schools, keeping kids away from busy roads.
"Encourages people to walk to school or bike to school instead of everybody having to drop off their kids by vehicle," Haley said.
Rosemary Kaley lives right next door to Rim Rock Elementary, "It is insane, especially in the mornings and the afternoon with the school traffic. The drivers do not pay attention to the crosswalks and this is an elementary school, kids darting here, there everywhere."
The third generation homeowner has seen a lot of change in the neighborhood and is ecstatic for these latest projects.
"It was just the gravel and then the chain-link fence. There was no sidewalk, no nothing. People in the neighborhood who walk on a regular basis aren't going to have to be dealing with the traffic, hopping over to the side to get out of the way real quick," said Kaley.
"There's a lot of them that really enjoy riding their bikes to school and walking, and we just want to make sure it's safe," said Kramer.
Pedestrians will be able to get from J Road to K Road on 18 1/2 Road. The project is expected to be complete at the end of September.
Starting Monday another major project will begin in Fruita. Crews will be widening 18 Road and improving sidewalks, from J Road to Little Salt Wash Park. Some congestion is expected for several weeks.