School zone changes across the city

The City of Frisco has added new school traffic features. For Liberty, the school zone times has been extended.

Halle Barham

The City of Frisco has added new school traffic features. For Liberty, the school zone times has been extended.

Athena Tseng, Editor-In-Chief

The City of Frisco has made many changes in regards to school zone safety starting this school year, including new school zones, extended times, and updated traffic signals for certain schools.

“Every year, we look at all the different school types in the city, like elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools, and look at their attendance boundaries as they’ll change from school year to school year,” City of Frisco transportation planning manager Joel Fitts said. “Another thing that changes is sometimes a new neighborhood gets built or a new street gets built. We have to look at all those things and then see ‘where do we think kids are going to cross the road to get to a school?’”

With new neighborhoods, the school zone times across the school were extended additional hours.

“We had to change the school zone time from just high school time to be also elementary and high school time,” Fitts said. “So that we protect both high school students, walk into the high school, as well as any elementary students who might walk across traffic to get to Isbell Elementary.”

In front of Maus Middle School, a new traffic signal is being installed as Coit Rd. was recently expanded from a four-lane street to a six-lane street.

“Once you go to six lanes wide, you really shouldn’t use that yellow flashing beacon to help students crossroad,” Fitts said. “You now need to upgrade to a different type of traffic control, which is called a Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon, which now introduces a red light to the situation. It has two lights above and one below as opposed to the three in a line.”

Keeping students safe remains a high priority for Frisco according to Fitts.

“Pedestrian safety is really important not only for school but also for people running and jogging or walking to parks or riding their bike,” Fitts said. “So it’s something that is a big part of the transportation system. When people think of traffic engineers, they think of just cars. But, a big part of our job is also pedestrians because we need to make sure every road has a safe sidewalk and that there’s a safe way to cross the road.”