School safety concerns outside new San Benito Elementary
Tue, 30 Aug 2011 03:58:09 GMT —
Leal Elementary School parents in San Benito were seeing red over safety concerns at a campus known to be green.
"There's a lot of traffic out here," Evelyn Hernandez said. "Once the kids let out... It's very hard to control the traffic."
The environmentally friendly, newly built school sits off South FM 732.
There are no signs installed yet to indicate the area is a school zone.
Traffic zipped along, Tuesday afternoon, at the posted 55 miles per hour.
Many people believed there could be an accident with no warning to indicate children are present.
Ruben Lopez is the parent a 7-year-old at the school.
"There are no signs up as you can see, and the cars pass through here pretty fast," he said.
Joann Rodriguez picks up her 2 children after school each day.
They walk 3 blocks home.
"They're going down here like it's a highway... And it concerns me very much," she said.
But with no crosswalks and incomplete road striping, Rodriguez worried about the increased risk for a child to be struck by a vehicle.
"Signs do need to be posted... Very badly," Rodriguez said. "That should have been one of the first priorities that should have been done besides the road."
A TxDOT spokesperson said the project was delayed because it took the county longer than anticipated to finish the rewidening of FM 732.
It was completed about a week before the start of the new school year.
TxDOT is working to finish up striping the pavement.
New signage, including a reduced advisory speed limit, has been ordered, according to a local spokesperson with TxDOT.
The signs should be up installed in a couple of weeks.
San Benito Consolidated Independent School District Superintendent Tony Limon said his campus police officers were working in the mornings and in the afternoons at the school to help with traffic control.
He urged drivers to slow down while the work is completed.
Despite the efforts, Rodriguez scored the project low on initial safety.
"More than likely a D on the safety... Maybe an F," the mother of two students at the school said. "That construction should have been done prior to school even opening."