BENTON COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – A crosswalk on Highway 112 near Central Park Elementary has some parents worried about their children’s safety because of the fast traffic.
Benton county parents told KNWA/FOX 24 that there is not enough signage to alert drivers of the crosswalk. It’s also located on a state highway right on the city line of Bentonville and Cave Springs. The complicated jurisdiction surrounding the crosswalk makes it hard for parents to get their concerns addressed.
Katie Fremstad is one of those parents. She said she wants to see something get done before someone gets hurt.
“Basically all the parents in the neighborhood have gotten to the point where we’re just driving and dropping our kids at carpool even though we can see the school from our neighborhood,” Fermstad said.
Fremstad said her and other parents have talked to the city of Bentonville, Cave Springs and ARDOT, but have not heard concrete answers about the situation.
“You start calling around to the schools and the city and mayors and things like that and everyone seems to be passing the buck it’s not our jurisdiction,” Fremstad said.
Cave Springs Mayor Randall Noblett said he talked to Bentonville and ARDOT about the crosswalk. He said because the crosswalk is on a state highway, the agency has final say over what is done. However, one of the sides of the road doesn’t have an ADA accessible sidewalk on it, so ARDOT won’t approve adding features. such as flashing lights.
“That doesn’t meet their standards and that they can’t build or permit building onto a violation,” Noblett said.
Fermstad said she wants to see all those involved to come together to try and come up with a solution to the safety concerns.
“This is a very complicated jurisdiction I feel as though it’s not a hard thing to ask Cave Springs, Bentonville, and the state to sit down together and let’s brainstorm and get this done,” Fremstad said.
Bentonville Police had officers acting as crossing guards during the beginning of the school year, but because of the complicated jurisdiction the department can’t staff it everyday. A spokesperson with Bentonville Public Schools said it did not request the crosswalk and does not have crossing guards on staff. The district encourages parents to look out for their kids if using the crosswalk.