NAMPA, Idaho — Four fifth graders set out to resolve an "accident waiting to happen" at a dangerous intersection near their school. They made their voices heard-- and the city listened.
When their teachers assigned them to find a problem in the world to present solutions for, they found a safety problem right under their noses.
"It can make our school safer and have people safe," said Taylor Horton, fifth grade student, Snake River Elementary.
And after blowing their audience away with their well-researched presentation, about five weeks later, the city's work is complete.
"Why did you get in to public works?" I asked. "It's for things like this!" said Tom Points, Public Works Director, City of Nampa.
Points put the finishing touches on the new crosswalk at 11th Ave. North and Stampede Drive Thursday.
"It's so exciting to see the work get done, and to create a safe intersection because some young girls spoke up," said Mayor Debbie Kling, City of Nampa.
Spoke up they did. As I previously reported, Snake River Elementary students made a presentation to City Council regarding an intersection they found unsafe near their school.
"To see the students dig in and actually do all the research which they did, and then to put it all together in a great presentation.... they did such a great job and then it just made it easy for us to all say, 'Yes, let's go take care of that,'" said Mayor Kling.
"Public Works and our Streets Team immediately got on it, like, the next day," said Mayor Kling.
"And I was like, 'Oh my gosh!' and so after school we came did ya know just personal pictures of girls ya know standing in the crosswalk, crossing it."
The girls said the swift action put a renewed confidence in their young minds.
"People are proud of us and they are surprised at what change we can make," said Horton.
And if there's another thing this crosswalk symbolizes-- it's that activism has no age requirement.
"It's important that people use their voice. Use your voice, speak up, and we as the elected officials need to listen."
If you have any ideas for increasing pedestrian safety, city officials said they are currently accepting feedback through a Bike & Pedestrian Master Plan community survey and interactive web map. This-- they said-- is a great tool for the community to provide comments about areas they feel need to be addressed by the City.
The survey and web map will close at the end of this month.