New school zones established for Carmona-Harrison, Oakridge Elementary and Heritage Middle School

Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 9:47 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The City of Lubbock is creating school zones for some Lubbock ISD and Frenship ISD schools. Carmona-Harrison Elementary will have its first zones established after a year open while Oakridge Elementary and Heritage Middle School will have additional zones.

The Lubbock City Council gave its first approval during its June 14 meeting and took up the second reading of the ordinance on its June 28 agenda. Dupre Elementary’s school zone will also be removed.

According to the City of Lubbock, school district police departments request the traffic control from the Public Works Traffic Engineering Department, which then conducts a study to see if the reduced speed limits or crosswalks are warranted.

“I was under the assumption much like many of our families, that it was just kind of an automatic: school gets built, school zones get installed,” Stacy Carter, Lubbock ISD Director of School Safety and Security said. “They actually look at traffic flow, the number of students that are crossing streets, because one of the things they have to decide is the location and where to put the crosswalks and the flashing lights. They can’t do that without going out and actually seeing the physical site itself, once it’s been opened.”

According to Frenship ISD Police Chief Roy Bassett, the studies are done in ideal weather to get an accurate assessment.

“They’ll try to come out when the weather is nice, and they’re going to have the potential for the most kids and/or parents crossing on that particular day,” Bassett said. “Their criteria is they want at least 10 people crossing over six periods, over six passing periods.”

Chief Bassett said he was also unaware of the process of requesting a school zone until he assumed the role leading the district’s police force. However, he said the process is effective due to the responsive nature of the City.

“The City does a really good job of of keeping tabs on where the new schools are,” Bassett said. “They work with the the school district police departments and if we ask them to come out and do a study then they’ll come out. If the numbers meet their minimums, then they’ll put up a school zone.”

The results of the study are presented to the Citizens Traffic Commission for consideration. Its recommendation then goes to the city council. Here’s a list of the additional school zones:

  • Carmona-Harrison Elementary School - Avenue U reduced to 20 MPH with flashing beacons
  • Carmona-Harrison Elementary School - Cesar Chavez Drive reduced to 20 MPH with signs
  • Heritage Middle School - Iola Avenue reduced to 20 MPH with flashing beacons
  • Oakridge Elementary School - Oakridge Avenue reduced to 20 MPH with signs

The City of Lubbock estimates the cost of materials and equipment to be $11,000. Iola Avenue and Cesar Chavez Drive will have flashing lights due to their high traffic volume and since they serve as arterial streets.

“Iola does carry a lot of traffic, so just be aware,” Bassett said. “Before you know it, school will be starting back up again. As you’re dropping off your kids, look for things that have changed over the summer and be aware of the new crosswalks and the school zones.”

Both districts encourage anyone with concerns or suggestions about school zones to contact their police departments.

“It just takes time,” Carter said. “They wanted to look at the fall, and then also look at the spring, with it being a new school, just to make sure we were putting up those signs in the right spots, and also looking at future growth in that area as well.”

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