Officials with Denton ISD and the city of Denton officially marked the completion of a sidewalk project years in the making. The significance of the sidewalk – along East McKinney Street in Denton, is that before it existed, hundreds of Ryan High School students had to walk along a busy road to go to and from school.
Efforts to change that began in early 2016, after two Ryan students were struck by cars while walking. A Guyer High School student was struck and killed nearby, while crossing Loop 288.
The sidewalk project was completed earlier this month, in time for the beginning of the school year. Many of the 1,600 students who attend Ryan walk to school. Some student-athletes would wind up walking along the roadside in the dark, if they had to be at school early for practices or late for games.
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Keely Briggs, a Denton City Council member, made the sidewalk construction a priority after she was contacted by a parent of one of the students injured while walking to school in 2015.
"Today was pretty emotional for me," Briggs said. "Not only are the kids safe, but the parents can feel as if the city really does care."
Though the effort began well over two years ago, Briggs said logistics held up the sidewalk construction. TxDOT maintained the road at the time, but the city was able to reach a deal to take over maintenance of East McKinney Street, and to build the sidewalk.