Austin/ Transportation & Infrastructure
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Published on May 27, 2024
Hays County Parents Urge Action on Hazardous Traffic Near Schools, Hays CISD Trustees Debate Safety MeasuresSource: Unsplash / Elijah Ekdahl

Parents in Hays County are calling for action as Hays CISD grapples with the complexities of hazardous traffic areas and school bus routes. The district's board of trustees has approved new designations aimed at ensuring student safety and securing additional state funding for transportation.

Despite the changes, concern persists, especially around the area of Jack C. Hays High School. Parents note that students frequently dash across a busy road to reach the school, a risk that some believe has not been adequately addressed by the district. "These kids are trying to navigate and essentially play human Frogger after school," Christina Bell, a parent of students at the school, told KXAN. "It’s just so dangerous."

The district designates areas within two miles as hazardous to qualify for additional state funds. Transportation allotments are received at a rate of $1 per mile for students living more than two miles away, and hazardous route funding can add up to 10% of the budget for non-hazardous miles. Around 3,000 students across 25 campuses are affected by these hazardous traffic conditions, according to a resolution recently passed by the board of trustees.

Some trustees are split over these designations, with trustee Courtney Runkle vocally opposing the decision not to include certain areas such as Campo Del Sol Parkway around Sunfield Elementary. "I do hear and I do see the responses of the county as 'working on the improvements of Campo Del Sol.' Unfortunately, I have not seen exactly what those are," Runkle expressed to Community Impact. "We have a lot of kids that travel that road, and we need to make that road safer."

The shifting landscape of city planning and school logistics continues to challenge Hays CISD, as trustees and parents alike seek to balance the safety of the students with the pragmatic details of traffic infrastructure and the available funding for transportation. As these discussions unfold, the goal remains steadfast: to ensure children can travel to and from school without the looming threat of a perilous journey.

Austin-Transportation & Infrastructure