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Crossing The Railroad Tracks by Peter Kirk Elementary

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Uploaded on May 4, 2008

The following videos show school children crossing the railroad tracks on the way to school from the Kirkland Highlands neighborhood. The entire neighborhood of over 600 homes is separated by the railroad tracks from the school. There is no bus service as Peter Kirk Elementary is considered a "walking" school. The kids cross over 110th Ave NE and the railroad tracks behind Peter Kirk Elementary to get to school. As you can see, the kids are walking and running to school.

The crossing guard raised her concern about kids walking down the tracks to get to school in the morning. Someone can come to educate the kids about railroad safety, but having worked with middle school kids for 13 years in the past, I'm familiar with typical teen and "kid" behavior. Kids won't remember what someone told them three months ago about not walking on the railroad tracks. Walking on the tracks is more of a problem when kids go from neighborhood to neighborhood to see their friends or walk to downtown Kirkland, not just to school. There are no crossing guards watching over them at those times.

From the Highlands neighborhood, kids also cross over the railroad tracks in Cotton Hill Park, a few blocks north, to get to Kirkland Junior High. That crossing is far more concerning because young teens tend to be busy multi-tasking as they walk to school. Picture typical teen behavior and you see teens talking to friends, talking on cell phones, running, and listening to IPods. You do not picture kids paying attention as well as they should to their surroundings. How many teens do you know who think they are invincible and will try to tempt fate by running in front of a train as they are rushing late to school?


If a fence is erected to stop people from walking down the tracks, kids will be cut off from their friends. Walking paths will be cut off to schools. Neighborhoods will be cut off from each other. Not only is the rail line as a commuter line a safety hazard, it will hurt the fabric of the community.

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