WESTCHASE, Fla. — Many parents in the Westchase area have been voicing concerns over the dangers of students walking to two schools in this community.
The recent growth of Westchase means the number of kids walking to and from Farnell Middle School and Mary Bryant Elementary has also grown.
“When the kids are coming out, you’ll see close to 100 kids coming out at the same time getting crossed. It’s a lot, it really is, and you have to be really careful in this area,” said Desiree Bermudez.
Hillsborough County made several improvements to enhance pedestrian safety after families at Farnell Middle spoke up a couple of years ago.
The County put in new crosswalks at the intersection of Nine Eagles Drive and the entrance to the school. They installed blank-out signs. They are illuminated signs with a right arrow crossed out to indicate no turn on red when a pedestrian is crossing the intersection. And they created a longer turn lane for cars to get into the school.
Parents said Hillsborough County Public Schools has also made improvements which have helped with the flow of traffic.
“The parking attendants are phenomenal. They really make sure that the kids are safe. They also work with the cars to make sure they’re pulling into the right areas,” said Kishia Gainey.
The district added crossing guards, which was one of the biggest issues parents had a few years ago.
“The two that are out there do a good job. It wouldn’t hurt to have more. I know that if you were to go a street further, you see three or four in the morning. So, I think they do a pretty good job at what they do,” Bermudez said.
Parents said most importantly drivers need to slow down and stay vigilant while kids are on foot.