Waco City Council approves new school zone after years long battle with parents

Posted at 6:29 PM, Jun 02, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-03 08:38:21-04

The Waco City Council voted Friday to put up a new school zone after a years long battle with parents over the speed limit on Speegleville Road.

Parents have been the driving force in working to get the speed limit reduced for more than five years and they're happy it's finally done.

Parents whose kids go to River Valley Intermediate School have been complaining that the 45 mile-per-hour speed limit in front of campus is too high. After much back and forth, Midway ISD and the city has come to a compromise and will split the cost of the signs for the new school zone and 30 miles-per-hour speed limit.

Parents like Amy Thiltges and Emily Johnson say they're happy and once the signs are up, they'll feel better about their kid's safety.

"There are kids that live across the street and I've seen them trying to cross the road before, and so I think that would be easier to stop going 30 rather than 45,” says Thiltges.

"With anything, when you've got kids involved it's just, it's a good idea to make sure you're focused on what's going on around you,” says Johnson. “A lot of times you get going on this road and you don't even realize how fast you're going."

City of Waco Spokesman Larry Holze says before, there wasn't enough traffic in the area to warrant the change. However, with new homes going up rapidly in the area, the city now says it's time.

"The added traffic because of the developments out there, as well as the texting issue,” says Holze. “Those are two big changes that weren't apart of the original valuation of the project. It's just the right thing to do.”

The limit was lowered back in 2011 from 50 to 45 miles per hour, but many parents thought that was still too high and have been working to get it lowered again.

The new school zone will not only lower the speed limit, but it will also ban cell phone use within the zone.