Cleveland City Councilman Jeff Johnson surveys school walking routes for safety, notes vacant houses

CLEVELAND - Sherisse Wiggins lives a stone's throw from Michael R. White Elementary School in Cleveland's Glenville neighborhood. But she says there's no way she's letting her two children walk to school.

"It's too much going on," she said. "You never know who's out here. It's just a lot going on over here so I have my father take them rather than just letting them walk down there by themselves.

However, many students do walk to that school alone. Their city councilman has been out surveying the routes looking for possible hazards that need to be eliminated.

"I list every vacant house," councilman Jeff Johnson said, "and categorize it as secure, need to be secured, debris, grass needs to be cut."

Johnson said those vacant houses need to be secured so that children can't go into them and get hurt, and so that they won't be dragged inside by someone else.

He's urging parents to know the routes their kids take to school, walk or drive the route with them, and discourage them from taking shortcuts.

"There's not a street in this ward that I would say is a danger to walk down," he said. "It is when you start cutting in between buildings and vacant houses or cutting through occupied houses. You don't always know who's at that house."

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