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Parents in Lincoln’s West A Neighborhood concerned about school zone traffic

Published: Apr. 29, 2021 at 7:20 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Families in west Lincoln are concerned and want action, saying their kids are in danger because drivers aren’t paying attention.

Those concerns involve crosswalks, specifically at Coddington and South, during the hours just before and after school.

Parents 10/11 spoke with say construction in that area is only making things worse.

“I don’t want us to be remembered and known in this neighborhood for being the neighborhood where that kid got hit by a car,” said Stefanie Vocasek, who lives near the crosswalk.

That’s what many parents in this neighborhood fear, like mother of three Jena Deboer, who says her kids almost got hit not too long ago.

“My fifth grader was walking across the street holding my kindergartner’s hand and a guy almost ran them over because he was in a hurry, turned off of Coddington, went right down West South Street didn’t stop or anything,” said Deboer.

Neighbors 10/11 NOW spoke with say recent construction escalated things, rerouting more drivers than usual to the area.

“People get frustrated and angry at other drivers, and then they’re honking and zooming through and not paying attention to what else is going on,” said Vocasek.

We reached out to Lincoln Transportation and Utilities, and they say that under their School Zone Standards Implementation Project, the area around Roper Elementary will be analyzed, but it may take a while.

“It is going to be a years-long process to update every school in Lincoln,” said Dan Carpenter, interim traffic engineering manager for LTU.

LTU says prioritizing school zones and crosswalks depends on several factors.

Carpenter said, “The ones with the least infrastructure impact, the ones that are easy and fast and relatively inexpensive to install [will be completed first.]”

Parents say they want change to happen before it’s too late, “I’d like the signs back up saying: ‘Caution: This is a school zone’ just so people know that they need to slow down,” Deboer said.

“The last thing anybody wants is to see is someone get injured, especially a child,” Vocasek added.

Several complaints about this crosswalk have been made to LPD, with the traffic sergeant saying the most recent one was made on April 15. LPD’s traffic sergeant says following that complaint, a traffic officer has been out in the area monitoring and enforcing traffic.

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