The plan to close Corl Street Elementary School poses an increased risk to child safety.
With the closure of Corl Street, the 50 percent of students who now walk to school would no longer be within walking distance of their school and would be required to use other means of transportation.
In practice, 60 percent of children nationwide are transported in private automobiles even when presented with the option to ride a bus. Statistics on injuries and fatalities suggest that being driven to school in a passenger vehicle is by far the most dangerous way to get there, with 75 percent of the fatalities and 84 percent of the injuries occurring in passenger vehicles.
It is clear that closing Corl Street will increase vehicular child transport, thereby reducing child safety relative to sustaining the walkability via renovating Corl Street.
More broadly speaking, increases in vehicular traffic related to closing Corl Street will have additional negative effects, such as pollution, congestion, etc., on the broader community including the areas around schools slated to receive displaced Corl Street students.
Child safety has been a high priority for SCASD and should continue to play a role in choosing to renovate rather than close Corl Street Elementary.