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Parents worried about dangerous crosswalk push for new bus route

Published: Mar. 4, 2021 at 6:03 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Sioux Falls School District parents are worried for their kid’s safety walking to the new Ben Reifel Middle School this upcoming fall.

The middle school is set to open next school year in southeastern Sioux Falls, and some parents are saying their kids are being left off the eligible busing list, forcing them to cross the busy intersection of Highway 11 and 41st Street on their way to school.

Sarah Sporrer, who will have two kids attending Ben Reifel in the fall, found out a few months ago her kids will not be eligible to ride the bus to school because of her address. Which would force them to walk.

“They would have to cross that six lanes of state highway traffic going 55-60 miles per hour,” Sporrer said.

The intersection of 41st Street and Highway 11 would be on her kid’s mile and a half walk to school. Sporrer says she had heard talks of reducing the speed limit in the area.

“I feel it’s still not safe for our kids. I’ve spoken with a lot of parents in the neighborhood, there just seems to be a great deal of concern out there. Like I said we’re just really concerned about the safety and them crossing that intersection,” she added.

Sporrer says she has to leave for work before the kids need to be at school and adds that parents have made calls, and sent emails to district leaders asking for boundaries to change in order for their kids to be eligible.

“At this time, we’re kind of stuck with not much of an option,” Sporrer said.

With just months until the start of the school year, ideally, for Sporrer her kids would be able to ride the bus.

“As a parent, I find that very scary. I don’t even want to cross Highway 11, even with my kids I wouldn’t want to cross it,” said Sporrer.

In an email from the Ben Reifel Principal to parents, he said they are reviewing this issue, and expect more information to come out by Friday.

Dakota News Now did reach out to the Sioux Falls School District and they released this statement:

“The Sioux Falls School District partners with the City of Sioux Falls, local citizens, and traffic safety professionals through the city’s PATH Committee to help create and maintain pedestrian-safe pathways throughout the city. The PATH Committee is scheduled to discuss Ben Reifel Middle School at its next meeting on March 11th.”

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