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School crossing concerns at Oak Park Elementary

Posted at 5:26 PM, Oct 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-31 19:34:22-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Imagine having to cross a very busy street just to get to school. For some Oak Park Elementary parents and their children, it's a reality. Now, parents want more crosswalks because of safety concerns.

Many students who go to Oak Park Elementary live on the other side of Leopard Street, but the closest crosswalks are more than a block away from the school in either direction. So to save a little bit of time and energy, those students and parents are crossing Leopard where there are no crosswalks.

"I've even crossed over and I've even hollered at them like 'Slow down, you're in a school zone, slow down,'" said Roslind Coates, a grandparent of two students who go to the school.

Laura Perales, the school's principal, says they've gotten a number of complaints from parents over the years sharing their concerns. Those parents have also complained to the city.

"We have brought it up many times," said Perales. "Our parents have tried to bring it up. I know they've reached out."

Some parents have asked for more crosswalks closer to the school, crossing guards or rumble strips. Meanwhile, city officials said based on past area examination, the stretch of Leopard where the students cross didn't show enough evidence of a large number of people trying to cross the street. However, the city will will take another look at the problem area.

For concerned parents, they worry the changes won't happen until an accident occurs.

"It's going to take a parent or one of the kids to get hit," said Coates.

"We just want our students to be safe," said Perales. "We know we have to follow the crosswalks, but right now, they're not in the ideal situation."

All the concerns were brought to the attention of City Councilman Everett Roy. He tells KRIS 6, he'll meet with the assistant city manager to discuss those concerns soon.

City officials said that for now, they'll repaint the existing crosswalks.