Scott to deny funding to sidewalk for school children

Published: Updated:

CAPE CORAL, Fla. – Gov. Rick Scott has vowed to veto funding for a project that would add sidewalks for students at two neighborhood schools.

Sidewalks near Trafalgar Middle School end at Southwest 20th Avenue, which acts as a cut-through between Trafalgar Parkway and Pine Islands Road. The City of Cape Coral plans to add sidewalks to Southwest 20th Avenue and a stretch of Trafalgar Parkway but was hoping the state could pitch in half the funds for the $900,000 project.

Many students who live in the area walk to and from school and sometime just inches from cars in traffic. The concern is that the roads are too dangerous. Holly Pilson drives her 10-year-old daughter to school daily, even though they live minutes from Trafalgar Elementary.

“Because there’s no sidewalks cars are having to dodge around them,” she said.

Gov. Scott recently added the project to his list of budget items to be vetoed — a decision that has parents like Pilson questioning his priorities.

“I think it’s sad that he doesn’t find it important that children be safe,” Pilson said.

State Sen. Lizbeth Benacquito said she will work to convince the governor that the project is a public safety issue that needs to be addressed.

“Kids having safe access to school is something we should be investing in and we’ll just chalk it up to making a better case next year, but it is something we will continue to fight for,” Benacquito said.

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