Sidewalk for Safety: Laxton Road


Situated beside Brookville, Laxton Road only provides a narrow curb and strip of grass for students to travel on.

Erin McKown

Buses and car rides aren’t an option for some students on their morning and afternoon commute to school. Laxton Road, which serves as a busy cut-through from Timberlake to Rainbow Forest and entry into Wyndhurst poses several threats to students who rely on walking to school.

Timberlake District’s school board representative Barbara Rypkema informed that, to make the sidewalk happen, the Brookville community would have to advocate for it.

“Student safety is always one of my top priorities and I definitely agree that a sidewalk would be beneficial in helping to ensure students are safe on Laxton Road,” Rypkema said. “The community would need to advocate for it to be included in the county’s future Capital Improvement Plan, funding from the Board of Supervisors would be required, and most likely VDOT would have to be involved in the project due to traffic impact, state right of way laws, and so on. It is a great idea, and I would love to see students, parents, and the community take the lead advocating for it as a future project.”

For sophomore Austin Hough, the idea of having a sidewalk would make his daily trip to school a lot easier and safer. He also begs the question of ‘Is the risk of being hit by a car worth it?’

“I walk to school and I absolutely agree that the school should put in a sidewalk along Laxton Road,” Hough said. “It’s really dangerous to cross that road, and I’ve almost been hit twice just trying to walk to school. Our health matters more than what the cost of a sidewalk would be.We already have enough risks of getting hurt.”

Though she doesn’t walk to school, freshman Nadia Reaves supports the idea of a sidewalk, as it would not only benefit students walking to and from school, but sports teams as well.

“I do think a sidewalk would be a good idea,” Reaves said. “It has to do with students’ safety, and I always see a bunch of students walking back and forth, especially sports teams like track. I was in track, and we would run right beside the road and it was a little scary. For the most part drivers are careful, but there are always stupid people out there, and you never know when someone’s going to get a little too close or when they’re going to lose control.”

Current track athlete Susanne Germeroth also agrees that a new sidewalk would aid people who walk to school and runners like herself.

“It’d be pretty nice to have a sidewalk, especially for people who run long distances,” Germeroth said. “I run for track, and in some circumstances it is dangerous. When you’re trying to cross a road or running on the side of the road, it is kind of dangerous. If you were to misstep and fall into the road, it wouldn’t be very good.”