Sanders provides updates on school walk zones

Charlottesville City Schools will begin classes on August 24 and a school bus driver shortage has meant that more children will not be eligible for pupil transportation.

Deputy City Manager Sam Sanders told City Council on July 18 that the local government continues to work to address the issue.

“We are working in collaboration with Charlottesville City Schools to solve the various issues that may result from having an additional 750 kids having to walk to school this year,” Sanders said. 

Last week, the Charlottesville Planning Commission told Council they wanted to see solutions in place before school begins. (read that story)

Sanders said talks have been held with Albemarle County Public Schools about collaborating with one possibility being for special needs students to make sure they can get to school. Another collaboration could be with Jaunt to see if there is a possibility to share drivers.

“We won’t be able to use their equipment because of the federal nature of the funds that they receive but when drivers are working for Jaunt they may be able to drive for us so we’re looking to see if we can figure out a way to make that possible,” Sanders said. 

Sanders said the planning affects multiple localities across the region and regional approaches are required. He said the city is also looking to find ways to work with groups who want to solve the identified problem. 

“We’re looking to capture proposals from neighborhood led groups hoping that we’ll be able to deploy those groups in doing some of the work as well since they have offered to do so,” Sanders said. 

That includes suggestions from Livable Cville and the city’s Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee. In a future edition of Charlottesville Community Engagement, we’ll hear more about the possible addition of $500,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funding to cover the costs of some of the work. 

“Our goal will be to quickly get some of these things out and basically available to make this process a little bit easier,” Sanders said. 

If you have a student or students in Charlottesville Public Schools, what do you plan to do?

Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the July 20, 2022 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

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