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Closure to endanger students?

At the December 6, 2006 Oregon City council meeting a decision was made to close the pedestrian walk way connecting Glen Oak Road to Sophia Court.

As a resident of Glen Oak Road and Oregon City for 20 years, I have experienced first hand the safety issues associated with the lack of pedestrian access to the former Moss campus, now home to the Oregon City High School, from Glen Oak Road. Prior to the remodel of the campus the only access to the school for children residing in the neighborhoods bordered by Glen Oak Road was to walk to school using Beaver Creek Road. The traffic on Beavercreek Road is extremely dangerous; there are no sidewalks, no lighting and the shoulder is very narrow. I believe that anyone who has lived in the neighborhood for any length of time would agree that it was a welcome sight to have the pedestrian walkway put in before the new development on Sophia Court was built.

Now, due to the misbehavior of a few students, residents of the neighborhood would like the walk way removed and the city commissioners have agreed. By living next to the high school we have put ourselves in a situation where some level of tolerance for teenage behavior is required, however, the allegations made by those in favor of the closure are serious; smoking, drinking, littering, fighting and sexual harassment. This behavior is not acceptable and must be dealt with immediately. Wouldn't a better solution be to solve the problem rather than divert it to another neighborhood? This is exactly what will happen by closing the pedestrian pathway.

I encourage anyone affected by this closure to voice your opinion, the commission has promised to explore other security options prior to the closure, tentatively scheduled for spring of 2007. I have faith in our city government that they will do what is right for everyone this closure will impact. I sincerely hope the community can come together to solve this problem with a solution other than closing the only pedestrian access available to those residents residing on the east end of Glen Oak Road.