TAMPA, Fla. — Families say their kids will be a lot safer walking to and from school in their West Tampa community after a years-long call to action for a speed study and new traffic light near MacFarlane Park Elementary School.
That push has resulted in a new traffic light at MacDill and Green Street. This comes after the MacFarlane Neighborhood Association worked with the City of Tampa to coordinate a speed study, which was completed in September 2020.
During the study, city engineers observed more than 200 vehicles. The speed limit near the school, which is located on MacDill, is 35 miles per hour. However, they found most drivers were going around 42 miles per hour. The highest recorded speed was 55 miles per hour, according to city officials.
Maria Castillo, a parent of two children at the school, says because the intersection is so close to a freeway exit, this was long overdue.
"You see the cars under the overpass and then almost have to slam on their brakes to the crosswalk," she said. "So now, they're having to stop."
As a further safety push, Castillo said the MacFarlane PTA notified the neighborhood association that a new road safety mural would be painted in front of the school, in the primary crosswalk. It's another effort to get drivers to slow down or stop for students.