There are more than 500 students at Paideia Academy off Baseline Road and for parents, that makes arrival and dismissal a traffic nightmare.
Like many charter schools, Paideia Academy was built with a large loading zone but without any crosswalks. Ruben Lara says that makes picking up his grandson a dangerous task.
"This guy was backing up and he almost hit me," Lara said. "There's been a lot of close calls."
Paideia Academy Principal Brian Winsor says he's asked the city of Phoenix for a crosswalk to make it safer for students and parents crossing 15th Terrace but the city never commits to getting that crosswalk approved.
"It's just the ticking time bomb," Winsor said. "No matter how attentive somebody is, if we have that many people crossing without any one spot to have people cross as a crosswalk, I'm afraid it's going to happen someday."
The city's school safety coordinator, Don Cross, researches these requests and either grants or denies the implementation of crosswalks and schools zones throughout Phoenix. According to Cross, many charter schools don't fit the requirements for a crosswalk.
"Charter schools now are kind of a new animal," Cross said.
Cross says the state regulates where crosswalks and school zones can go and since most charter students don't walk to school, charter schools are built without crosswalks in mind.
At Paideia Academy, Cross says there's no place to put a crosswalk because the entire street was labeled a loading zone for school busses and cars picking up and dropping off students.
"We need something done," Lara said.
Unless the state changes its regulations, charter schools requesting a crosswalk or a school zone may need to change the way they are constructed.
The city of Phoenix says it's working with schools like Paideia to find a safe crossing point.
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