EDGEMONT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Unhappy with her dangerous walk to school, one Edgemont sixth grader is taking matters into her own hands by lobbying for a sidewalk.
She’s doing so with the safety of her fellow classmates and commuters in mind, CBSN New York’s Nina Kapur reports.
Without buses, Greenville Elementary School students either walk or get a ride to and from school every day, but walking down busy streets like Fort Hill Road can mean Maya Barmecha and her classmates either have to hug the curb or take the long way.
“I feel very scared. I feel that maybe an accident is going to happen, and I feel at risk,” she told CBSN New York’s Nina Kapur. “That’s why today I’m proposing my idea to have a sidewalk.”
Maya is fighting for sidewalks along her route to school, and she’s not alone.
Neighbor Ashmita Gupta says she feels so uncomfortable letting her young children walk to school, she chooses to drive them instead.
“They could easily walk to school because it’s not that far, so I’m all up for creating a safe traffic here, whether it’s a sidewalk or slowing down traffic,” she said.
Maya says with the encouragement of neighbors like Gupta and friends at school, she took her pitch to the town board meeting last week, where it was well-received.
“I think it’s definitely needed. There are challenges. It’s very expensive, but Maya told the town board that we don’t have a choice,” Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner said.
Ideally, the sidewalk would stretch from Fort Hill Road to Long View Drive, right by the school.
This undertaking could take up to two years. The town board would first need to approve installation estimates, then decide how many poles, fire hydrants and drains would need to be moved, as well as how many private driveways would be affected.
But community members say that’s a small price to pay for the safety of their children.
“I’m going to keep fighting for what we need, what the community needs,” Maya said.
She plans to continue doing so by going door to door to gather support and signatures for a petition, then she will await the town board’s final stamp of approval.