More traffic regulations for Burley and Slack School Zones to improve students safety

By Whitney Grunder - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE)- On Monday, Lufkin police officers began actively patrolling Burley Primary and Slack Elementary school zones to enforce new traffic laws set in place by the city.

With three Lufkin campuses within a one-block radius, Sgt. David Walker says the area has basically outgrown itself.

Burley Primary and Slack Elementary hosts 1,200 students, 300 of them are three-year-olds coming from the Hackney site.

"We were looking at lock down traffic. You couldn't get anywhere. If one of these children needed an ambulance or an emergency, we couldn't get here, the ambulance couldn't get here," explained Walker.

Following the transformation of Joyce Lane into a one-way street at the beginning of the school year, come more traffic regulations which took effect Monday. This includes making Oakwood Street one-way. Lufkin ISD Superintendent Roy Knight says it's all about keeping the kids safe.

"One, is so there can be emergency traffic flow in and out should there be fires or other emergencies in our community. Secondly, we've created safe passages for our kids," said Knight.

Signs have been posted and Lufkin police officers are giving warnings, so drivers can get used to the changes.

However, as for violators who choose to continue to abide by their own rules, officers say they're going to start giving less warnings and more citations.

Most parents agree it's helping improve traffic flow and more importantly, their children's safety.

"If people would just follow the signs, I think it will make traffic flow so much easier," said parent Missy Hendrick.

Some neighboring residents express frustration. They say it makes it difficult to come and go.

"We got people here who work and they're late to work and sometimes they get in trouble," said De'Corin Robins, who lives on Joyce Lane.

For now, comes patience and cooperation, while keeping safety the highest priority in mind.

Knight says the city's long-term plan is to widen Joyce Lane and provide a turning lane, but this will take further budgeting and time. For now, police say parents should continue to follow the posted signs.

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