Snow piled on sidewalks prompts Indian Hills to ask parents to drive kids to school

The sidewalk outside Prairie Elementary was still covered in snow Thursday afternoon. The school’s administration is asking for parent volunteers to help shovel.

Area residents may still be coming to terms with the long-term damage Tuesday’s storm has done to area trees — but the piles of snow are also producing an immediate problem: clogging up the sidewalks that people use to get to and from schools.

Prairie Elementary and Indian Hills Middle School both sent messages to parents Thursday acknowledging the situation. Indian Hills Principal Carla Allen asked that parents don’t allow kids to walk to school until the situation has been addressed:

Because of the amount of snow accumulation we have experienced, there is still much snow piled on the sides of streets. Prairie Village has not cleared off sidewalks or walking paths and there is much ice on the sides of the roads. For the safety of the students, please make it a priority that they do not walk to school or home from school. Until there are safe and clear paths on which the students can walk, please plan to drive your children to school or arrange for them to carpool with a friend. Additionally, we are asking parents who drive at drop off or pick up times to take extra measures in complying with traffic flow procedures around the school. Snow banks can block drivers” views of children stepping into parking lots and the presence of ice necessitates even slower speeds than usual. Thank you for taking all safety precautions with our students.

At Prairie, Principal Scott Merfen asked for volunteers to help clear the paths around the school:

Due to manpower, equipment and overwhelming snow issues, we have not been able to get to all the areas around Prairie cleared.  The main concerns are the sidewalk and stairs in the front of the building off 67th street as well as the sidewalk along the fence line in the upper lot (by the soccer fields).  The efforts made have been made harder with the plows pushing snow into areas that make visibility and travel difficult.

Any volunteers who feel the desire to assist us in clearing a path in those areas to make walking to and from school safer are welcome.

Our head custodian has worked very hard in clearing as many main areas around the building over the past week. If you feel so moved, we would all appreciate any help.

A huge thank you to the parents we have seen helping this morning and afternoon. Their assistance has already helped us tremendously.

Prairie Village Public Works Acting Director Keith Bredeheoft notes that sidewalk clearing is always the responsibility of the adjacent property owner. The city is only responsible for clearing sidewalks adjacent to city property.