Waynesboro's Berkeley Glenn Elementary School received a Safe Routes to School Grant worth nearly $250,000 from VDOT this year to improve pedestrian access around the school.
Amy Mumbauer, her daughters, and their friends walk to and from Berkeley Glenn nearly every day down Windsor Road without sidewalks.
"They have to walk in the road," Mumbauer said. "So, we're careful, and we teach them what side of the road to walk on. But, we'd love to have sidewalks."
Right now sidewalks end in grass right across from the school, and curbs bump up above the road, making it difficult for the disabled to cross.
"We've already got a pretty good sidewalk network in place but several gaps that are missing, non-ADA compliant crosswalks, curb ramps," said parent and Waynesboro Planning Commission member Terry Short.
Berkeley Glenn's Safe Routes Grant will upgrade more than a dozen curb crossings. More than 1,500 feet of new sidewalks will extend along Windsor from Jefferson Avenue to Lyndhurst Road and along Lyndhurst from Windsor to Binford. The grant will also pay for pedestrian education.
"We're in the works of producing a map that will show the highlights of how to walk to school safely, how to bike to school safely," Short said.
Safe Routes incentives are already in the school. Kindergartner Jackson Sherman carries a key chain with colorful foot-shaped fobs for each day he walks to school this week.
"It's just good exercise for him, and he enjoys doing it," said Jackson's dad Wray Sherman.
Sherman believes the sidewalk and accessibility upgrades are a step in the right direction for the neighborhood and its school, so more kids can join them on the walk.
"If we walk every day, we'll probably do 90 miles by the end of the school year," estimated Sherman.
The city plans to move ahead with the sidewalk and crosswalk construction as soon as possible. Parents and planners are already discussing applying for Safe Routes grants for other city schools next year.