Jim Plain Elementary parents worried about lack of school zone signs

A temporary school zone sign sits near Jim Plain Elementary School in Leander. The city is still trying to get permanent signs installed after the a new road opened.

LEANDER, Texas (KXAN) — Dozens of cars fill a neighborhood road in Leander. Jennifer Nicholson worries one of them might hit a kid walking to nearby Jim Plain Elementary School.

“One of these little guys crossing the road are going to get hit,” says Jennifer. “Somebody came up right behind me and started honking their horn, and then whipped past me.”

The road in front of the school, South Brook Drive, used to dead-end at the school. But when developers built a new subdivision, they extended it, making South Brook Dr. a through street. However, that new stretch of road didn’t come with any school zone signs.

“(The developer) plans did not include the school zone signs and the city’s review didn’t catch the fact that the school zone signs weren’t included in the plans, and so they were just never installed,” says Tom Yantis, assistant city manager.

It’s the developer’s responsibility to install the signs, but since it was missed in the review process, the city will now take care of it. The city did put up temporary school zone signs last week, weighted down by sandbags. But Jennifer says they’re not doing the job. She saw the temporary sign blown over on Monday.

An even bigger concern, is police cannot currently enforce the 20 mile-per-hour posted speed limit, until city council approves an ordinance extending the school zone. Officers are currently patrolling the school zone and can pull people over, but they can only give a warning if drivers are speeding in the area that doesn’t have a permanent school zone sign.

The city council is expected to approve the ordinance in January. Jennifer says that’s too long to wait.

“All it takes is a sign to make people slow down a little bit. There shouldn’t be a price put on that, there shouldn’t be the run around, it should’ve been done,” says Jennifer.

The city’s public works department says a sign crew will install the new school zone signs Friday morning.

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