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Volunteers check for hazards on school routes

L&C school
Orlinda Worthington
Yellowstone Public Radio

Walking and biking to school is a good way to help kids get exercise, but it’s not always easy to find a safe route.

Yellowstone Public Radio’s Orlinda Worthington reports on the steps the city of Billings is taking to create safe passages. Joan Smith snaps a photo of dull, peeling yellow paint on a curb along Lewis Avenue.

“He told us to watch for things like that, that would you know, just be potential problems.
They're coming down the hill, they're speeding, and the visibility is just poor,” said Smith.

Smith is a volunteer for the Safe Route to Schools Project, checking for safety issues for students who walk or ride bikes to school.

Engineer Erin Clauch is the project manager for the program. “Some of the school district two schools, the sidewalk that's in kind of disrepair, heaved or tripping hazards. Some of the ramps are missing and, and just general signage, that could be improved,” he said.

The information collected will be used by engineers and city planners to prioritize improvements and apply for funding from city, county and federal dollars.

Safe Routes to Schools also addresses the national issue of kids not getting enough physical activity.

The public can offer input on unsafe areas in their neighborhood and sign up to volunteer at

Orlinda Worthington hosts “Morning Edition” weekdays on YPR. She brings 20 years of experience as Montana television news anchor, producer, and reporter.