Parents report 'traffic nightmare' at new school in Harlingen

Parents at the new Memorial Middle School in Harlingen turned to Action 4 News concerning what they call a traffic nightmare.

The new school opened its doors off Rio Hondo Road on Monday.

But many parents were quick to voice their frustrations about traffic conditions.

Both school buses and parents are being funneled through the same entrance creating gridlock.

Parents Reaction

"The school's nice, the entrance sucks, Eddie Joe Dosal told Action 4 News.

Dosal drove 12 miles from Los Indios to pick up his grandson.

But what should've been a quick trip, ended up taking much longer than he thought.

Well, considering it's such a big school, the parking area, the entrance, it's all outta whack| it's crazy, Dosal said.

Grandmother Petra Factor agreed.

She came to pick up her granddaughter and got stuck in heavy traffic on Rio Hondo Road and the North 21st Street entrance.

"They just need to do something because this is terrible, Factor said. The buses are in line at the same place we're in line. And I think maybe the buses will be late.

Daniel Salinas told Action 4 News that he came to pick up his niece.

He said the traffic is like any other school.

"It's all right, Salinas said. It's not that bad."

School District Reaction

Harlingen Consolidated School District officials declined to comment on camera but said they are working with the City of Harlingen to iron out the issues.

School district officials said some 200 students involved in academic programs at other campuses will be ending their day elsewhere starting next week easing some of the traffic.

But officials are asking parents to carpool or send eligible students to school on the bus.

HCISD officials are also hoping that the City of Harlingen will soon open North 21st Street to allow traffic to pass between Rio Hondo and Vinson Roads.

The street was built next to the school to ease congestion but only remains partially opened.

Many parents from the surrounding neighborhood also expressed concern about the lack of sidewalks and crosswalks leading to the school.

School district officials said those issues are handled by the City of Harlingen.

Action 4 News reached out to City Manager Carlos Yerena but did not receive a return call for comment.