CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- It's a big problem new this school year that parents want fixed. While they chose to send their kids to a neighborhood school so the kids can walk, that walk has now turned into a scary challenge.
Parents blame CMS budget cuts that saw the board changing elementary school bell schedules to best use the busses. At Cotswold Elementary, the school is now on the same schedule as Randolph Middle School just down the street.
The magnet school means a lot of car riders, and that means a lot of traffic in a neighborhood where more kids walk to school than anywhere else in Charlotte.
“Cotswold is a neighborhood school. All these kids walking to school and we can’t. It’s just not safe,” said mother Melanie Bradle. She and her daughter often ride their bikes to school.
Carter Wilson lives on the same street but usually gets on his skateboard. He’s noticed there’s a lot more cars to compete with this year over last.
“Last year it was really good. this year it’s just gone kabooty,” the fifth grader said.
“Last year there weren't as many cars. I mean seriously, like this year there are about a bajillion cars and I have to cross the street,” fellow fifth grader Rachel Yoder said.
“With Randolph and Cotswold being on the same bell schedule, it’s not safe,” Bradle said.
Randolph is a magnet school with a lot of car riders, and both schools are on the same street, and—for the first time—on the same schedule. Traffic backs up, making it tough for the kids to maneuver.
“Oh, I am not comfortable, I’m always so afraid,” Yoder said.
Mother April Harrill lives on Water Oaks, the street the kids have to cross that is often lined with traffic. There was a minor wreck in front of her house earlier this week.
“So now you have the neighborhood trying to utilize a walking school, and you can’t go through intersections or you don't feel safe with your kids letting them walk to school,” Harrill said.
NewsChannel 36 checked in with CMS, and they tell us the principal at Cotswold is working with the zone office to address the issue.