Neighbors describe scary situation for kids at elementary without school zone

The city of Austin is set to approve a new crosswalk and school zone at Doss Elementary's temporary campus in northwest Austin. (Photo: CBS Austin)

The city of Austin is set to install a crosswalk and school zone near Doss Elementary’s temporary location as neighbors say it can be a scary situation for kids.

Students from Doss Elementary are taking classes inside the campus of Lucy Reed Pre-K. Austin ISD is working to rebuild their school, so students will stay in the temporary location until 2020.

However, that campus on Richcreek Road does not have a school zone or a crosswalk.

“There’s been a lot more traffic on our street,” neighbor Emily Graves said.

Graves said she can barely get out of her driveway before and after school. She also routinely looks from her yard as students cross the street. Many times they’re with their parents, but she says some buses later in the day pick up students from across the street when students are by themselves.

“I see kids running past cars that are moving sometimes and that makes me scared,” Graves said. “It raises my heart rate a lot.”

She called the situation dicey, and said the street needs a crosswalk or crossing guard.

“We thought the school district would put in a crosswalk when they had the school temporarily for two years starting at the beginning of the year, and frankly we were kind of surprised that they didn’t set up for that,” Graves said.

Nearly a full semester later, the city is looking to install a crosswalk and school zone on Richcreek. The city council could approve the school zone this week.

“What we’re proposing is a 20 mile an hour school zone,” Austin transportation department managing engineer Eric Bollich said.

Bollich said the crosswalk and school zone could come in by the beginning of the semester in 2019. He said they studied the area and determined both were appropriate.

He said they didn’t request either until now because they wanted to study the area first.

“We wanted to give enough time and give it a proper study and good recommendation before going to council,” Bollich said.

He said they particularly wanted to see where to put the crosswalk. The crosswalk is set to go at Silvercrest Dr. and Richcreek.

While Graves said these improvements are late, she said they will help keep kids safe. She also said a crossing guard may be the biggest help with the crosswalk. AISD said that would be up to the city’s public works department.

“We want to make sure everybody’s safe and we don’t want kids dodging in and out of driveways when people are trying to come and go,” Graves said.

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