Aug 10, 2012 4:39 PM
TUCSON- Traffic problems near schools in the Vail School District have some parents worried.
When an elementary and middle school opened there in 2008, two access points were built. Since then only one access point allowed parents to drop kids off. Now at capacity, that access point creates major backups on Bilby Road every morning.
The district plans to solve the problem by opening the second access point leading directly into a neighborhood where many kids walk to school.
The narrow roadway will be shared by vehicles and kids, a combination some parents feel won't mix.
"It's not safe for the kids to walk this road. There is no bike path, there is no shoulder separating the sidewalk from the street. So a child shoved off the sidewalk in play or because a kid on a bike is coming through is going to go straight into vehicle traffic," said parent Vickie Jones.
The road is set to open on Aug. 20 on a three week trial basis.
"We have a safety and congestion issue at the single access point. Our intent is to see if we open that gate, if it helps spread out some of the distribution from the single access point and makes things flow more evenly. If it doesn't then we will go back to the current practice that we have," said VUSD Assistant Superintendent John Carruth.
While not everyone agrees on the solution to the traffic problem everyone does agree the safety of the children is the top priority.
Councilmember Shirley Scott's office has been on top of this issue for quite some time. Aide to the councilmember, Andy Squire, tells News 4 the city will be installing stop signs in the concerned area. Additional signs like speed limit and school crossing signs are being looked at as well. The city is working with Tucson Police to have an officer in the area to make sure the children get to school safely.