Gov't agencies pass blame for school traffic headaches | News
TAMPA, Florida -- Parents in New Tampa are demanding changes.
They say traffic backups are so bad when trying to drop kids off for school at Pride Elementary, that it's causing some students to be late for class.
But two government agencies are going back and forth, each refusing to take the blame. Meanwhile, parents like Stacy Mays describe the 30-plus minute waits as a nightmare they're living through on a daily basis.
"Every morning is just ridiculous. I dread ever getting up to come," she explained.
Mays says dropoffs have taken a while in previous years, but she's never seen anything like the last week.
Hillsborough schools spokesperson Linda Cobbe blames the backup on roadwork near the school. A new turn lane was supposed to be finished before the year started, but rainy weather is delaying it.
"We believe the backup will be alleviated as soon as that is complete," Cobbe said.
But Hillsborough County Public Works spokesperson Steve Valdez says when the construction finishes by early next week, the traffic problem will not be solved.
"They are still going to back up, one by one, down the roadway," he explained.
Another factor may be a change in bus routes. As a budget cut, this year the district slashed seven bus stops within two miles of the school. The hope was those 90 students would walk or ride a bike, but Cobbe says that isn't happening.
"If every student within two miles did that, we wouldn't have the kind of backups you are seeing," she said.
The principal at Pride also put out an automated call to every parent, blaming the traffic issues on construction.
Valdez, though, points out the turn lane is designed to help thru traffic, not people dropping off children.