9-year-old pens letter detailing perilous walk to school, gets response from mayor


MOUNT WASHINGTON (FOX19) - A fourth-grader at Sands Montessori Elementary School says her walk to school is dangerous because there is no sidewalk.

Madelyn Gerker, 9, her brother and her sister live a few blocks away from school. Gerker says even though it's nearby they have to be alert to heavy traffic, distracted drivers and cracks in the road.

Gerker took her concerns to City Hall by writing a letter directly to Mayor John Cranley. In the letter, she describes how her younger brother almost got hit by a bus and how her sister tripped over a dip in the road.

"Sometimes we walk to school and cars can't really see the speed limit sign or the road and it's kind of bumpy so they just go past the speed limit," said Gerker.

Councilman Jeff Pastor is taking the girl's request to another level because to him it's personal. He says he grew up going to Sands Montessori and his youngest child is currently enrolled there. Pastor has filed a motion hoping to receive state gr ant money to build the sidewalk.

"It's a lot of traffic and especially when parents are d ropping off and picking up their children. it's a major thoroughfare through that area," said Pastor.

The girl's mother, Heather, is proud her daughter is driving this effort that could have an impact on the entire neighborhood.

"There's a lot of kids who live down this way and they don't always have a parent who walks them. So, I get nervous about other kids too and there's a nursing home back here and residents get out and walk around too," she said.

The letter prompted a response from the mayor:

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