CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va (WRIC) — Due to the ongoing bus driver shortage, several Chesterfield County students walk or bike to school. However, parents are concerned about one dangerous intersection they have to cross every day.
They are calling on the Virginia Department of Transportation to install crosswalks, lights or bring in crossing guards to make the intersection at Hull Street Road and Hampton Park Drive safer to get across.
Chesterfield mom Jaimy Blazynski said her son has to cross Hull Street Road, stop on the grassy median and somehow make it to the other side. It’s something he said is scary for him to have to do just to be able to get to and from Cosby High School.
“It looked like the kids were playing Frogger,” said Jaimy’s husband, Erik Blazynski.
Student Joshua Kuhl goes to a private school in Chesterfield that doesn’t require him to bike or walk across the Hull Street Road and Hampton Park Drive intersection but has crossed with his friends before who go to Cosby High School.
“It can be intimidating and scary, especially when you see people on their phones,” Kuhl told 8News Tuesday.
Blazynski said a crosswalk, crossing guard or pedestrian lighting would help make the intersection safer.
“The kids not only have to figure out is the light red and is it safe for me to cross, but they also have to worry if someone going to do a U-turn or a left turn out of a parking lot,” she described.
Chesterfield mom Traci Cantin’s son walks home if she can’t pick him up in time and she said a crossing guard would help, much like they have in some New Jersey intersection.
“You see the kids running for dear life to try to get across the highway,” she said.
VDOT said, as of Tuesday, there aren’t currently any plans to add any crosswalks or lights to the intersection, despite parents’ concerns.
They said there are currently no pedestrian access points like sidewalks at the intersection that would provide a safe location for pedestrians to continue their path if a crosswalk were installed.
Even so, Blazynski said she won’t stop fighting for a solution.
“This is a problem and I’m sort of shocked that no one else has tried to fix this,” she said.
However, VDOT spokesperson Bethanie Glover said Tuesday that VDOT’s traffic engineering team has a planned signal modification project in place at the nearby intersection of Hull Street Road and Otterdale Road. It features accommodations like pedestrian signals and crossings that will extend from sidewalks already in that location.
That modification will be a part of a road-widening project on Otterdale Road between Hull Street Road and Woolridge Road. Construction for the project will start in 2022.
Parents tell 8News they would put their kids on a bus to avoid them walking across the dangerous intersection, but lately, because of the bus driver shortage — buses have been arriving an hour or more late to pick them up.
Blazynski said she has tried to take her child to school, but the lines for parent drop-off are wrapped around the school much like they were last week at Tomahawk Creek Middle School.