City Engineer Jim Wilgus presented a preliminary survey for a project to build a walking path at Wednesday’s City Council meeting, which included discussions about installing a mid-block crossing across from the school.
For years, children have traversed the sparsely wooded area where the asphalt portion of Brown Avenue ends to reach the school on Polk Street.
Three of the property owners designated on Wilgus’ survey map expressed safety concerns to the City Council, calling it an accident waiting to happen.
They opposed building any elements that would encourage children to walk unaccompanied from their block through high volumes of traffic.
“They are going to be killed right in front of my house. I don’t want to see that,” said John Harding, who lives at 309 Polk St.
Harding said commuters at peak hours will not pay attention to signs or even lights alerting drivers about a school crossing.
Councilman Griffin Chalfant said cars fly down hills from both directions on Polk street, where the limit is marked at 25 mph.
“I guarantee you there are no cars going at that speed,” said Chalfant, who believes placing crossing guards would put them at risk of being hit.
He cited an example of a hit-and-run incident involving a crossing guard in front of Liberty Elementary School in Cherokee County on March 20.
Harding asked for a more delicate solution and suggested adding a pedestrian walking bridge if the objective is to increase community access.
Councilwoman Annette Lewis asked Randy Weiner, Chair of the Marietta School Board, to report back to the committee at Monday night’s work session about busing the children across the street onto school property.
The discussion on the Wednesday agenda was originally planned because the encroachment on residential property for the pathway raised concerns.
City Attorney Doug Haynie informed the committee that a 1955 Cobb Superior Court case ruled the city does not own the right-of-way off the undeveloped land portion of Brown Avenue.
However, Haynie said the property lines on the deeds of the adjacent lots end before the available 50-foot easement that could be used to build a walkway.
Haynie said he did not think there would be a legal basis for any citizens in the area to object.