Letter: School crossing
I am writing regarding the article “Greenfield limits access to school grounds” (Jan. 18) which described the School Committee’s new policy to prohibit the public from school grounds for safety reasons. While I fully understand and agree with the policy generally, some issues do arise as they pertain to the Green River School.
Both the committee’s decision and the news article fail to incorporate the neighborhood context. The article makes it seem as though neighbors are just doing laps around the building with their dogs irrespective of school activities. The reality is that the rear of the property is the pedestrian connection between upper Petty Plain Road and Meridian Street, providing access to businesses on Routes 5 and 10, to downtown and to the Green River Park. The sidewalk along Petty Plain Road, as you walk away from the Fairgrounds and toward the Green River School, separates from the street and becomes a paved path that takes you directly to the rear of the school grounds. The significance of this connection is that Petty Plain Road becomes a very narrow and steep curve that is frequently traveled by vehicles and, lacking an adjacent sidewalk, would be highly dangerous for pedestrians to traverse due to visibility issues. By prohibiting pedestrian use of the school grounds, the committee is effectively forcing pedestrians to walk in this dangerous stretch of Petty Plain Road.
I am hopeful that the safety of all is taken to account so that a creative outcome can be achieved that protects both school children and pedestrians. A possible solution could be to move the small fenced-in play area closer to the building and continue the fencing to the west to create a path for pedestrians along the back of the property while providing fenced separation from the school activities.