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Mary Munford families rally to highlight school safety concerns: 'Don’t run us over!'

Posted at 4:16 PM, Oct 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-26 16:16:57-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- More than 100 parents and students walked to Mary Munford Elementary in Richmond on Wednesday to raise awareness about their traffic concerns around campus.

Mary Munford PTA President Katherine Jones and her family organized the walk-to-school rally and parade.

The families met at a home on Woodlawn Avenue before walking the two-tenths of a mile to Mary Munford Elementary off Grove Avenue.

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“We’ve had a lot of safety concerns around the Mary Munford corridor with accidents and people not respecting our crossing guards,” Jones said.

CBS 6 Problem Solver Melissa Hipolit shared the neighborhood’s concerns in October following a bad crash.

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Mary Munford Principal Greg Muzik said a lot has changed in the neighborhood compared to when he moved there 30 years ago.

“I walk or bike to school every day and it used to be getting across Grove was nothing. There were no cars. But it is very, very busy now,” he explained.

Muzik and Richmond Public Schools encourage students and their families to walk to school for their health and the environment. Yet, he acknowledged that they must ensure a safe route to school.

“The official walk zone for Richmond is a mile. Most kids don’t walk that far but we have many families that live blocks from the school. But, because of concerns about safety they either ride the bus or drive their kids to school,” Muzik said.

Second graders Beckett Noggle and Parker Stone held signs while escorted by their parents.

“Mine says ‘Don’t run us over! Drive safe. Kids crossing,” Beckett said.

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Richmond Police escorted the group and stopped traffic during the morning rush hour.

Richmond City Councilman Andreas Addison told Hipolit in October that City Council has put in several requests to the city for radar speed enforcement cameras in school zones, and even funded them in the budget, yet they still haven't been installed after he said they "were promised prior to the start of the school year."

Addison's office is looking into why they have not yet been installed.

Addison said he has "lowered speed limits, installed traffic calming speed tables and signage with minimal positive response."

"Drivers are ignoring posted speed limits and laws," he said in October.

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