Students use road without popular sidewalks, curbs to get to Banyan Creek Elementary

Hundreds of kids walk 'unsafe' road daily

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. - Twice a day, five days a week Banyan Creek Elementary school students pour onto the sides of Barwick Road in Delray Beach. Some kids are on bikes, most are on foot. Only a sliver of grass separates them from passing cars. 

"Hundreds of kids are walking here with no barrier from the street," said Mitch Katz. 

Katz and Robert Sierra live a few blocks from the school, they cringe when they see a close call. 

"Drivers can go onto the sidewalk because it's even with the street so if a driver loses control or is texting, without a concrete curb, there is no physical barrier between them and the children," said Sierra.

Sierra has been pushing for better sidewalks and curbs for 11 years. He says nothing has been done. In fact, a recent request for help from the City Manager ended with this reply: There are no funds in the operational budget that would allow for the addition of the project.

Monday, both Katz and Sierra met with City Commissioner Shelly Petrolia hoping for a better answer. 

"I'm not surprised he was probably being honest about the budget, but there is money there are we need to make it work," said Petrolia.

Two teenagers have been hit and killed along Barwick Road since 2001. The most recent victim was 14 year old Austin Miller, killed in a hit and run. The driver who hit him was never found. 

"Children have already died, how many more have to die before we do something?" said Katz. 

Parents say at the very lease temporary barriers should be put up until the city can afford something permanent. They'll be calling for the city to make a move at a Tuesday night commission meeting. 

One issue complicating change is part of the road is owned by the city of Delray Beach, another portion is owned by Palm Beach County.

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