Riverview dad worries about neighborhood kids playing 'game of Frogger' to get to school

Seeking safer routes to school across Bay area
Posted at 4:26 PM, Aug 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-09 16:26:08-04

Jeff Toral, with a group of kids behind him, took his bike and waited for cars to pass before he was able to escort the middle school aged children across a busy stretch of Boyette Creek Boulevard in Riverview.

"It's like real life Frogger," the Riverview father said. 

For the first time Toral's children will be taking the 1.2 mile trek to school after courtesy busing was removed from Hillsborough County.

From their home, it is estimated it will take 27 minutes for Toral's children to get to school if they walk. 

A spokeswoman for Hillsborough County Public Schools told ABC Action News that parents have had since December to find the safest options for kids because that's when they announced they would end courtesy busing

Toral points out there's no crosswalk from the back of his subdivision to cross Boyette Road to get to the same side of the street Barrington Middle School would be on. 

Along with no designated crosswalk, there are not continuous sidewalks, pedestrian signs or lighting in the area. One option for Toral's kids and their friends would be to walk in a grassy area, along side the busy road or in the bike lane to get to a nearby roundabout about half a mile away. 

In Florida, it turns out you don't have to have continuous sidewalks, you would need a four foot barrier from the road, in this case it would be patches across separating kids from the road. 

Toral also worries about Daylight Savings Time for children. 

Hillsborough County is usually in charge of putting up signage and updating infrastructure along county roads. A spokeswoman for the county tells us their public works department is looking into this area to see if there are any safer alternatives. 

The best way to get action in your neighborhoods would be putting in a request with the county through their 'Service Center' online request form. You can report potholes, road debris, damaged or missing street signs and other related issues. 

As of now, courtesy busing remains for elementary students but that will be evaluated this next year, although a date for the issue on the issue hasn't been set.