Parents work to improve dangerous road for students

FM 969 in East Austin (KXAN Photo)
FM 969 in East Austin (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) —  Parents, teachers and community members at an East Austin school are trying to prove the road around the school is too dangerous for students.

On Monday, the group will hold a traffic experiment at Austin Discovery School, which sits off FM 969 near Decker Lane. Using cameras, people will take video and pictures of traffic along the road during a time in the morning when students would be present. They will send the data collected to TxDOT, in hopes of inspiring changes.

Sheri Guess is the Chief Operating Officer of the Austin Discovery School. She told KXAN, back in April a group of parents started a petition encouraging TxDOT to increase traffic safety on FM 969. TxDOT has already denied adding a traffic light and a school zone.

“We really want TxDOT, the city of Austin, everyone in our community to understand how important the safety of our students is,” said Guess.

Guess says she understands that stretch of road is a main thoroughfare, but she’s still seeking more safety for the school’s 600 students. She is hoping the video will encourage TxDOT to lower the overall speed limit in the area, which is currently 55 miles per hour. She also adds there is no way to safely exit the campus and head west, which is towards downtown.

“Basically it’s the old adage, squeaky wheels get the grease. We just don’t want to give up until someone understands..fully understands from a human perspective what’s happening to our students and our community and how they are unsafe and we want to change that,” Guess said.

TxDOT told KXAN that a school zone study was performed and found no children crossing the roadway, therefore, the area does not meet school zone criteria.

The experiment starts Monday morning at 7:15 and will last about 45 minutes.

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