Bossier makes safety improvements at schools

Plantation Park Elementary has new traffic lights, crosswalks and a student dropoff lane

BOSSIER CITY, La. (KSLA) - With the school year just a few weeks away, Bossier Parish is taking steps to help ensure students safely return on the right foot.

Funded by a Kids on the Move grant, $312,000 worth of enhancements have been made at Plantation Park and Bossier elementary schools.

“One thing at Plantation Park Elementary that we focus on is taking pride in our community and our school,” principal Tanya Hilburn said.

Over the summer, new traffic markings, improved crosswalks and flashing speed limit signs were installed around the perimeters of both schools.

Plantation Park now also has a new parent drop-off lane and sidewalk to help improve safety.

“I feel that this is an investment and representation of other agencies and personnel just really pouring into our community and prioritizing our students’ safety,” Hilburn said.

Both schools have a large number of students who are regular “walkers” — youths who walk to school — which can make the morning and afternoon commutes stressful for parents.

“It’s very hectic,” said Carlesha Bryant, who has two children at Plantation Park. “Some drivers cut off from Benton Road and the same come from Airline. It got to the point where I just dropped them off; I still watch them.”

Bryant and her family live near Plantation Park, so she noticed the added safety measures to the neighborhood school.

“It’s very bright and noticeable; you have the flashing lights and everything. I was very excited about that.”

Keith Norwood, supervisor of planning and construction for Bossier School District, said campuses were assessed to determine which would benefit from the grant.

“They evaluated sidewalks and walking paths to be sure that it was safe for the students in the school. Based on that, they developed a plan to improve the routes and crossings, in particular.”

A walking track also was constructed at Plantation Park for the students and the community.

Norwood hopes the improvements to both schools help ease the concerns of parents whose kids are heading to school each morning in a busy area.

“This gets the people who need to stop off the road and makes it a lot safer for the students who are getting out of their cars.”

Copyright 2019 KSLA. All rights reserved.