According to the West Orlando News, there are over 250 registered sex offenders that live near the new multi-use path that was recently installed along Westmoreland Drive, calling it “Mayor Dyer’s Sex Offender Sidewalk.” Read their full story HERE.
According to a quick search on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Florida Sexual Offenders and Predators website, there are 99 registered offenders in a one-mile radius from the school, which is located at 701 W. Livingston Street.
The path was built by the City of Orlando to help provide a safer pedestrian environment for children to walk to the new ACE K-8 school located in the heart of the Parramore District. Other improvements included widening the sidewalk, resurfacing of the road, upgraded pedestrian and traffic signals, ADA ramps, and soon-to-be installed decorative crosswalks around the school.
According to the West Orlando News, parents are concerned for their children’s safety and will most likely not let their children walk to school due to the allegedly high number of sex offenders living near the trail, as well as homeless individuals who are served by the nearby Orlando Union Rescue Mission and Coalition for the Homeless facilities.
Solutions put forth by the City include increased crossing guard posts, cycling groups and walking school bus troupes to provide safety in numbers. The City and County are actively looking for volunteers to aid in Adopt-a-Crosswalk programs.
City staff is currently working on updating their website to include a form where interested volunteers can sign up, but forms are being circulated at community meetings, according to Press Secretary Cassandra Lafser.