KEEPING IT GREEN

Greenway a good answer to PRZs

CAMERON FISHER
Posted 8/11/19

A recent article in the Cleveland Daily Banner announced “Parent Responsibility Zones (PRZs),” a move by Cleveland City Schools to halt bus service for students at Cleveland High School who live …

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KEEPING IT GREEN

Greenway a good answer to PRZs

Posted

A recent article in the Cleveland Daily Banner announced “Parent Responsibility Zones (PRZs),” a move by Cleveland City Schools to halt bus service for students at Cleveland High School who live within 1.5 miles of the campus.

Implementation of these zones came as a result of Tennessee laws regarding transportation, of which the state “does not provide funding for students who live within 1.5 miles of a school.”

 This announcement plays right into the mission and vision of the Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway. Since its inception, the greenway has developed with connections to schools as a top priority. It just so happens that Cleveland High sits in the smack-dab middle of a greenway system designed to offer a safe and convenient walking or biking venue to the school.

It’s almost as if the greenway was built to accommodate the roughly square-shaped PRZ that encompasses neighborhoods between 25th Street and Paul Huff Parkway and North Ocoee Street and I-75. For example, direct access to the greenway is available for the Edgewood subdivision via the western side of North Ocoee, accessing the new Casteel Connector.

When Phase 5 of the greenway was completed in 2011, a connection was made with the Northwood subdivision. What’s more, the greenway goes well beyond the PRZ, allowing those students the opportunity to commute via bike or foot as well.

 The announcement stated the PRZ only applies to Cleveland High this year, but CCS Director of Operations Hal Taylor said the zones will soon be implemented for all city schools.

The good news is there is already greenway access for students living to the north of Arnold School and the east of Stuart Elementary. Mayfield students to the north of their campus can use the spur that connects at 20th Street.  Talk is underway for a direct access path to the E.L. Ross and Yates campus, just yards off the greenway. If the county schools decide to implement PRZs, use of the greenway will apply for some North Lee Elementary students, as well.

 The future Candies Creek Greenway is projected to make for easy passage from neighborhoods surrounding Cleveland Middle School. A 1.5-mile PRZ around CMS would include hundreds of homes and when the CC Greenway comes to pass it will be a huge factor in transportation planning for the families of these neighborhoods.

The new greenway is slated to begin/end at Candy’s Creek Cherokee Elementary. An easy cut through a slim line of brush would connect the students living in Cottonwood Bend subdivision to the CCC campus, and thus, the CC Greenway. While no definitive plans are in place, a possible passage under the widened Georgetown Road/Hwy. 60 would connect students living in homes on the eastern side of the highway to their respective campuses.

 If there was room in this column, we could talk about other connections to schools that are doable with the current vision of the greenway. There are plans for a greenway connection to Blythe-Bower Elementary in the downtown and old Whirlpool site redevelopment.  Personally, I have dreamed of a way to connect all three high schools via an uninterrupted greenway from Bradley to Walker Valley with CHS in the middle.

 As we project and plan together for the future of our greenway system, we will continue to keep safe and easy access to our schools a top priority.

 Online: www.cbcgreenway.com  Facebook: The Greenway

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