Parents begin inspection of walking routes following cancellation of courtesy busing

Posted at 11:34 PM, Dec 14, 2016

With the school board's letter in hand, Ralph Hernandez strolled along for his daughter's safety and I tagged along.

"During the winter there are no lights at all in some areas," said Hernandez.  "This is not a sidewalk at all, this is the actual street."

Starting next August, whether he likes it or not, it's the route his 14-year-old daughter will walk every day. She's one of 7,500 high school and middle school students now expelled from riding the bus because she lives within two miles of her school.

"Basically if I go to the left or I go to the right two steps, I'm in the traffic," demonstrates Hernandez.

He says his daughter will walk 1.7 miles. The route taking her nearly a mile down busy Lithia Pinecrest Road before finishing the walk along Fishhawk blvd.

Along the way we see cars clearly surpassing the posted speed limit. A lack of sidewalks, our feet just inches from passing traffic. After nearly 45 minutes of dodging cars pulling out of shopping centers and subdivisions we finally arrive at Newsome High School.  

"The traffic is like this at all times," said Hernandez.

He says he'll be filling out a hazardous walking concern review form sent home to parents this week. By filling it out he'll be asking the county to consider all of the hazards along his daughters route and to reconsider their decision to kick her off the bus. He just hopes somebody will listen.

"There is no doubt that every day next year I'll be very, very worried, I'll be stressed out until I know she's home safe," said Hernandez.