IDEA school, city leaders trying to make busy southeast Austin intersection safer

Traffic

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Parents in one southeast Austin neighborhood are calling on school, city and county leaders to improve safety when it comes to a heavily-trafficked intersection that endangers kids walking to and from school.

“There’s danger all around,” Antonio Castillo said about the traffic at the corner of Slaughter Lane and Bluff Springs Road near the school.

“The main issues are off-campus or right by the gates where parents are in a rush to either drop-off and get to work or tired and want to rush home and they’re zooming out of the gates,” he added.

Castillo has reached out to the school, city and county in hopes of making some changes that could fix the problem.

“This is for the safety of the kids, we don’t have to wait until a child is injured or killed in order for them to take action,” he said. “We need to be proactive in the case, especially when it comes to these young students.”

The school is aware and they’re working with Austin City Council Member District 2 Vanessa Fuentes to find a solution. She said there are four ideas she’s looking into and this includes lowering the speed limit.

“The speed limit right now is at 35 mph, we would love to get it down to 20 speed limit per hour,” Fuentes said. “Also, looking at adding additional crossing guards so we have individuals that can help our kids cross safely.”

Another option would be to add traffic signals to turn the area into a four-way stop. She’s also is requesting city transportation leaders conduct a traffic study.

“We have to come together, be creative, be proactive and ensure that we are doing the safety of our community as quickly as possible,” she said.

Castillo just hopes something can be done soon to ensure the students are safe.

“Even though they’re not all my children, as a parent I would like my children and everyone else’s children to be safe before school and after school,” he said.

Fuentes said the next steps involve conversations with the county to figure out the best option.

In a statement, IDEA Bluff Springs had this to say:

IDEA Public Schools is committed to the safety and well-being of each of our scholars. We are currently working with Council Member Fuentes’ staff to resolve the issue and expedite a solution to the heavy traffic in our area during drop-off and dismissal. We appreciate the patience of our parents and urge all drivers to exercise an overabundance of caution while in school zones to help ensure the safety of our children.

IDEA Public Schools Spokesperson

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