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Pleasanton Parents, Students Rally To Make Foothill Road Safer, Wider

PLEASANTON (KPIX 5) - Foothill Road in Pleasanton is shared by cars, kids and bikers. Tuesday, parents and students were rallying to make the road safer.

The two lane street gets busy with all the kids heading to the elementary, middle and high schools nearby. A section where the sidewalk narrows, has become cause for concern.

"I'm concerned about the safety," says Dr. Joelle McConlogue, a neighborhood parent. "I think this is an accident waiting to happen."

Tuesday morning some neighbors gathered to protest this 200-foot stretch of road where the sidewalk shrinks to only about 3-feet wide. Parents complain that kids walking and riding have to share the crumbling asphalt sidewalk as cars pass just inches away.

"Even if a bike were to hit a bump or one of these ruts they would fall over, they could easily fall into the street," said McConlogue, as some bikers brushed by. "Careful, careful! You can just see how close that is!"

"If you just trip on that really bad crack right there you're just gonna fall into the road, get crushed and WAH, WAH WAH!" said fourth grader James Shirk.

The group would like the city to install a guardrail along the sidewalk for now, and then work to widen the street and add a bike lane. That may not be easy with a sharp drop-off on one side and a drainage culvert on the other, but the parents say they've waited long enough,

"When I was a kid my parents tried to get this sidewalk widened and that's when the built this, probably 25 years ago and it was 'temporary,'" said parent Valerie Shirk, pointing to the pavement below her feet. "And now I have kids of my own and it's still here."

No one from the city would go on camera Tuesday but they say they're looking into the idea of a guardrail.

Neighbors say they've been told the city is waiting to see if property owners will develop the land alongside the road. That may be a struggle too, because after the protesters left we spotted this woman from the adjoining house tearing down the signs they had posted.

Nevertheless the neighbors say they don't mind becoming a 'squeaky wheel' and they want the city to remember one thing…better safe than sorry!

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