EDUCATION

Loudoun County schools cut bus routes for 4,000

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ASHBURN, Va. (WJLA) - In a cost saving measure, Loudoun County schools this year eliminated bus routes for the more than 4,000 students who live less than a mile from school.

A student dodges traffic to get to school. (Photo: WJLA)

At Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn, that means a lot of dangerous jaywalking.

"Traffic goes easily 50 miles per hour around that school, so I'm very concerned about the safety of the children," said one concerned parent.

On Wednesday morning, the Sherriff’s Office was in front of the school doing speed enforcement. But ABC 7’s cameras saw many students still cutting through busy traffic to cross.

Though there is a crosswalk, for some students it’s an extra 530 feet or so from the entrance of the school, which is longer than some want to walk.

According to the district, cops can’t ticket kids for jaywalking because state laws indicate that even if it isn’t marked as a crosswalk, it’s legal to cross in the middle of the road in order to access the entrance of a school.

The district also says it’s aware of the concern, encouraging students to use the crosswalk and completing an engineering study for the Virginia Department of Transportation to review.

But spend just a few minutes watching kids dodge traffic on Hay Road to get to Stone Bridge High, and you'll understand why Michelle Hawkins feels the way she does.

"It's just a matter of time before someone gets injured or worse," she says. "I'm very concerned about it."

Hawkins insists she'll be driving her two daughters to school every day -- but it's still no substitute for a bus.

"If I could pick up every kid in the hood and drive them, I would," she says.

Approval could come within the next few weeks for a new painted crosswalk, but until then, Hawkins says she will be driving her own school bus – or rather, mini-van.

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