San Ysidro High School asks city of San Diego to finish sidewalk project

Unfinished sidewalk dangerous for student walkers

SAN YSIDRO, Calif. - A local high school is begging the city of San Diego to finish what was started -- a sidewalk to keep students safe.

Every day, 27 buses carry hundreds of students to San Ysidro High School, which is located right off state Route 905. Many of the school's 2,500 students ride the bus or are dropped off by parents. They have to because the only walking route to school is too dangerous.

"When you're walking down, you don't know where to walk," said San Ysidro High School sophomore Celeste Hernandez.

Hernandez is talking about a half-mile stretch between the school and the nearby community. That stretch doesn't have a sidewalk, and it doesn't have streetlights or a guardrail. It's not paved and it's along a twisting road.

"This is a very, very dangerous piece of road," said San Ysidro High School Principal Hector Espinoza.

Espinoza is frustrated because he said the school was promised a new sidewalk a decade ago.

The benefits are immeasurable, as the half-mile stretch would connect the school to the surrounding community. It could save the Sweetwater Union High School District upwards of $1 million every year by cutting down the use of buses. The walk would also promote health and fitness in the student body.

"There's a lot of kids that live at a walking distance from school, so the sidewalk would be really helpful," said Hernandez.

San Diego City Councilman David Alvarez said the city just can't afford the $7 million price tag, but agreed something needs to be done.

"It's hard enough to drive by it. I can't imagine trying to walk it," said Alvarez.

Walking the path is out of the question for most of San Ysidro High's students. It's something Espinoza hopes the city fixes soon.

"They've been very supportive, but we need to see action now," Espinoza said.

Councilman Alvarez said he hopes construction will begin on the sidewalk next January; eleven years after it was promised.

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