School district reverses "dangerous" decision


by KRIS BETTS / KVUE News and photojournalist DATHAN HULL

Bio | Email | Follow: @KrisB_KVUE

Posted on August 26, 2013 at 10:15 PM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 27 at 7:43 AM

HUTTO, Texas -- Days after KVUE reported on Hutto ISD’s plan to eliminate a bus route and make high school students cross a 60 mile-per-hour road without a crossing guard, the district reversed its decision.

Hutto parent Jackie Clough says she's relieved the district realized how dangerous the route is on FM 1660 and Carl Stern Boulevard.

“They already knew that it was a concern and they handled it so quick, right away, and I was so proud it turned out the way it did."

“Our kids are going to be safe this year, everything's fine. However we're still in talks with TxDOT and trying to get that speed limit reduced on that highway,” said Clough.

The speed limit on FM 1660 goes back up from 55 mph to 60 mph just a couple hundred feet before the intersection. Now parents, as well as Hutto ISD and the City, are trying to change that.

“Forty-five mph is what's comfortable there, and if we could get it around to that, that would be safe,” said Hutto ISD spokeswoman Emily Grobe.

Hutto ISD doesn't offer buses for students who live within two miles of the school and have a safe route to walk.

District officials decided the intersection was safe, which is when they canceled the bus route. They eventually changed their minds after complaints from parents.

“When that area is safer for the kids to cross, they will have the students cross and we're totally fine with that,” said Clough.

So far, TxDOT has not lowered the speed limit leading up to the high school, but they have near the elementary.

Clough says even though the bus route is back, there is "still a lot of foot traffic out there. And even without the kids having to cross that to get to school, it's still a dangerous intersection no matter what."

Parents and Hutto ISD officials would also like to see a school crossing zone at the intersection if and when the speed limit is lowered.

TxDOT says they are going to keep checking the area once city sidewalks are completed to see if there's enough foot traffic to warrant one.

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