Parents are upset about crosswalk closures - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/15/09

Parents are upset about crosswalk closures

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By Tiffany Pelt - email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Local parents are angry after the Citizens Traffic Commission voted against recommending city council re-open three different student crosswalks. Tuesday morning the Commission listened to concerned parents but ultimately based their decision on traffic standards.

According to the traffic standards an average of 10 students have to use the crosswalk at six different time periods in order to warrant a flashing school zone sign that slows traffic to 20 miles per hour. The crosswalk closure at Flint Avenue and 26th Street is the one causing all the commotion.

"It makes me mad. It really makes me mad that they're basing it just on a number and not taking special consideration into effect. I intend to talk to my city councilman," said Elaine Wilson, parent of three.

Parents say they're concerned because of the heavy traffic flow at the four way stop there on Flint Avenue, and because the crosswalk is just a block away from Roscoe Wilson Elementary.  "I feel that this school safety zone signs, while the lights flash for a few minutes in the morning and afternoon for school purposes, provide a deterrent for people to slow down and be aware of children crossing and playing in that area," said Karen Carruth, PTA memeber and concerned parent.

But council members and the commission are placed with the difficult decision of where they should draw the line on these issues. Even though city council is following traffic standards, legally they have the power to keep these lights up and running.

"Every child is important, but how do you decide to put in a traffic light and a guard. You can't put them everywhere, so at some point a decision has to be made," said Thomas Nichols LISD Police Chief.

Currently bags are covering the flashing lights and signs at the crosswalks of Slide and 73rd, Toledo and 4th, and at Flint and 26th street. They will continue to be covered until the signs are taken down.

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