Notes & Noticias: Keeping Kids Safe

We need secure path for teens to get to Eastside Memorial H.S.

Facebook feeds were filled this week with back-to-school photos as excited students headed back to the classroom for a new school year. But here’s one of the photos we should be focused on right now: a high school student crossing under a stopped train on his way to Eastside Memorial High School.

The top photo to the right was taken by Raymond Rivera, a member of the Springdale Area Neighborhood Association (SANA). He, like so many residents of this community, is concerned about the path that many students take to get to school – a path that includes trails tall with weeds, brush and debris; up to two railroad crossings; and generally unsafe conditions for our kids.

For many of them, the school bus isn’t an option. Neither is taking a longer (albeit safer) route.

This afternoon, my staff attended a meeting with representatives from various stakeholder groups – the City of Austin, Capital Metro, Austin Voices, the principal and students from Eastside Memorial, neighborhood groups and others – to discuss  safe and accessible community solutions for getting kids to area schools and parks.

Dr. Jayme Mathias, an AISD Board Trustee, and The La Loma/Johnston Terrace Connectivity Project are leading the charge, and I will be doing anything I can to support them.

Our kids deserve better than the status quo. And we all need to do our part.

My staff and I will be working with all parties involved to make sure we can find a short-term (and more costly long-term) solution for our kids.

In the meantime, there are three ways you can help today:

  1. Commit to volunteering some time outdoors on Saturday, September 26 and whack some weeds! Join UT’s Texas Blazers and others to clear the path/trail for our students.
  2. Donate money to the Texas Blazers for gravel needed to make improvements to the path.
  3. Forward this email to your friends and family around town!

We will continue to keep you updated on the progress at La Loma and Johnston Terrace. Please don’t hesitate to call my office if you have questions or would like more information about this project at (512) 463-0674.


Eddie Rodriguez