One of the BEST parts about Wylie ISD is the involvement of our parents and community. When we asked for ideas regarding how to increase the safety of pedestrians on our streets, Wylie ISD received more than 200 ideas, questions and concerns to consider. Thank YOU!! We did our best to organize your thoughts into general categories. Here is what we found
In response to your input, we are working on specific strategies to increase pedestrian safety. The traffic study we conducted two years ago addresses a few of the concerns with remedies that are part of the 2019 Bond. These are the top priorities.
Thanks to our amazing students, Wylie ISD created the following public service announcement designed to encourage students and drivers to be safe, alert and careful when traveling to and from school.
Although we were aware of the crosswalk concerns at George W. Bush Elementary, your collective voice had an impact. Together, we made some real progress that will vastly increase the safety of our kiddos walking to school.
Huffines Development has not only approved but graciously agreed to pay half of the cost to install a pedestrian-activated signal (similar to the one between WHS and Kroger). It will be installed at the hike/bike trail crossing (above). Because it is such an extreme safety hazard and Inspiration has no municipality to fund street improvements like this, Wylie ISD will pay the other half, and our maintenance team will help with pavement marking. The cost of this project is $25,000. The equipment has been ordered and we hope to have it installed by the Christmas break.
May God bless the City of Wylie, their police department will place two crossing guards at GWB, one at the new signal and one at the other primary crossing at Inspiration Blvd and Silent Shore Drive (below). The city will hire, train and manage them. Again, with no municipal funding, Wylie ISD has agreed to pick up the $20,000 annual cost of these employees. One guard has already been hired and we should have both on the streets in no time.
If you travel by Harrison and the administration building, you will notice my office staff have graciously served as crossing guards since a student was struck by a car next to our parking lot. Beginning Monday, Sept. 30 the Wylie ISD Administration parking lot entrance to Ballard will be closed. This drastically increases the safety of students walking to school on this route. Students will need to be careful, a bus entrance still exists.
To increase the safety of walkers, The City of Wylie has graciously added crossing guard at the Pirate Drive/Ballard intersection and will begin on September 30. This solution is temporary, once the construction is complete at Harrison, a significant number of new parking spots will be available for parents and a new traffic plan for buses and parents will drastically improve the flow of cars and pedestrians to and from the campus.
Thanks to the help of the Wylie Police Department, city traffic engineers, and PBK architects, we are working on a plan to address the current number of parents with cars on Birmingham Street, cued to pick up children. The city is considering re-striping the section of the roadway to include a north-bound left turn lane into the campus. This will allow for through traffic in the main pathway.
Hartman hopes to initiate the “double-stack” method currently used at most campuses for pick up and drop off, doubling the number of vehicles that can line up on the school driveway. Hartman administrators will visit these other campuses to see how it works and we will communicate it to parents. Thanks for your patience as we take the necessary time to design a safe and practical process.
The city of Sachse has agreed to place “No Stopping, Standing or Parking” signs along Woodcreek Way, between the school and Meadow Wood Court to improve sightlines and reduce the congestion at that intersection.
It goes to the city council on Oct. 7th and signs will be up soon after. They will have an officer out there for enforcement the first few days.
As part of the 2019 Bond, we have budgeted to create a separate bus entrance on Ranch Road that will eliminate buses and parents from intersecting in the current model.
The most requested improvement was adding big yellow flashers to the top of each school zone sign. Thanks to the City of Wylie, these will be installed on each school zone sign.
As our city continues to grow, that means more traffic. You have suggested several locations that we are looking at. We are working with the City of Wylie and traffic engineers to determine if state or federal grants are available that encourage partners like cities and schools to apply.
This kind of “out of the box thinking” is what it will take to solve this problem, but we like challenges! In the end, keeping our kids safe comes down to caring about each other, more than getting somewhere a little faster or reading a text. These sweet babies, big and small, are our kids. Sometimes they don’t pay attention as closely as we would like. Occasionally they don’t look both ways before crossing the street.
Our care for each other includes one of my favorite people, who serves as a crossing guard for Birmingham Elementary. She was struck by a car earlier this week. I was able to check on her immediately following the accident. Instead of getting checked by paramedics, she asked to go back to helping kids cross the street safely. She is simply a wonderful person. I was heartened by this social media post later in the day.
Folks, every community, every school, every family has their problems. I consider the Wylie Independent School District one of the kindest, most welcoming places on earth. Its a place where we take good care of each other, the Wylie Way! Again, this is your school district and we are here to protect and serve those in our care. If you have an ideas, questions or concerns, please let us know by filling out the Google form.