South Pointe dedicates long-awaited 4,900-foot trail

The buzz of cars zooming by a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday afternoon on Neely Road made a case for why the South Pointe Trail was needed.

The trail, a 4,900-foot paved sidewalk running from Rawlsville Road to Crawford Road, gives students at South Pointe High School a way to more safely walk to and from school. Bus service is not provided to families who live within 1.5 miles of their school.

"It's just putting kids' interests at the forefront, giving them a safe way to get to and from schools," South Pointe Principal Al Leonard said.

The trail, which was supposed to be ready for the start of school last August, opened about two months late. It was officially dedicated Friday.

Leonard said the trail is used by students and also by people looking for a nice place to exercise.

Rosa Jones, president of the College Downs Neighborhood Association, said she hasn't used the trail much, but she's glad it's there.

"We thought it was a good trail for the kids mostly," said Jones, whose neighborhood is on Neely Road. "It's useful all right."

A crosswalk connects College Downs to the trail. Lights have been installed so the trail can be used at night, for example, after sporting events.

"The whole thing is 100 percent lit," said Phil Leazer, transportation manager for York County. "I've walked it myself."

Students who live in College Downs are just like their peers -- they'd rather catch a ride to school. But if they can't find a ride, the teens said they are glad the trail is there.

Jordan Velez, a 16-year-old junior at South Pointe, said he sometimes walks to school in the mornings when he can't find a ride.

"It's way better now because we're away from the road," he said.