JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) — As winter weather returns to Jamestown Wednesday, we’re taking a look at efforts to keep school children safe and warm on their way to class.
With snowfall totals already accumulating, city plows have been hard at work trying to keep roads clear and safe. This includes the purchase of new equipment, specifically two school zone sidewalk plows.
“If we do get much more accumulation, the plows are all ready to go and mounted up,“ explained Department of Public Works Chair Randy Daversa. “We’ve had a light winter so far, but you never know what’s going to happen in the second half of Winter, and we are prepared.”
Among top concerns is student safety during the winter weather season.
“For our students who are walking to school, we ask for them to use safety on their way to school,“ said Chief Director of Schools, Tina Sandstrom. “Staying on the sidewalks, making sure they’re walking on the sidewalks, using caution at all the intersections, corners, crossing at the crosswalks and the lights, like they are supposed to.”
The city Department of Public Works has operators ready to hit the street in the new school zone sidewalk plows, however ordering has hit a snag.
“One of the things that we don’t want is the children, the school children, and adults walking in the road,“ stated Councilman Daversa. “Last year they were seen walking in the road and years before that, and we had an antiquated sidewalk fleet that needed to be replaced. They will be arriving the first or second week of February. There was a backorder and a backlog of manufacturing.”
Preparation is key for all ages, with walkers outfitted with the right clothing.
“At any time if anyone needs, any student needs any kind of winter gear, any clothing, all of our schools have clothes closets,“ explained Sandstrom. “We have lots of extra gear so, we’re happy to provide those to any students who need them “
Both members of the city’s council and school district leaders agree, drivers and walkers alike need to be aware of each other when heavy snow is falling. Also, homeowners and renters are responsible for clearing their sidewalks within city limits, which is key to helping kids get to school safely.