Friday, May 13, 2011

A howler that endangers children.

Questions we've been hearing a lot lately from neighbors in Rock Creek Hills: "Who would want to build a middle school in a neighborhood with no sidewalks? Who wants kids walking to school in the streets? Especially with the heavy traffic a middle school would bring?"
(Rock Creek Hills has essentially no sidewalks. Oh, there's one on Saul between Connecticut and Kensington Parkway, and a bumpy asphalt path alongside Kingston, but each of those are only two blocks long; there's one on one side of Kensington Parkway above Littledale; there's one along the West side of Rock Creek Hills Park that the Parks Department put in; we're probably omitting a block or two somewhere – but, in general, there are no sidewalks in Rock Creek Hills.)
Indeed, the site selection criteria used by the Board of Education include neighborhood sidewalks. And, the official site selection report states that our neighborhood has "sidewalks in place". Which is really a howler.
(But don't take our word for it. Why not enjoy strolling the pleasant neighborhood blocks in the vicinity of Rock Creek Hills Park, to ascertain that you'll be strolling in the street, because there are no sidewalks?)
We all make mistakes. But this howler endangers children.
(Let's be clear: The Board used three criteria to assess potential middle-school sites: Size, road access, and pedestrian safety. Rock Creek Hills Park fails all three. The County Board chose a site that is deficient in all of its own stated criteria. To build a school on this site would be to build a school that, on opening day, would be inadequate.)
We all make mistakes. Now, the Board should do the right thing, and re-start the B-CC middle school site selection process as soon as possible, before our May 27th deadline for appeal of their arbitrary and unreasonable decision to take away our park.

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