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City explores reduced speed limit, second entrance at Victoria West

By Carolina Astrain
Jan. 30, 2014 at 8:05 p.m.
Updated Jan. 30, 2014 at 7:31 p.m.

Students leaving the West campus at the end of the day line up to exit in a single lane of traffic from the parking lot. A traffic light timing study will determine whether a reduced speed limit is needed.

DID YOU KNOW?

The city of Victoria is partnering with the Victoria County Metropolitan Planning Organization on conducting a traffic light timing study along the corridors of Navarro Street, Houston Highway and U.S. Highway 87. The stretch of highway and traffic light in front of Victoria West High School is part of this study.

Source: City of Victoria

Victoria West High School traffic may be flowing at a slower pace next school year after the completion of a traffic light timing study by the city of Victoria.

The installation of a reduced-speed school zone at Victoria West would enhance safety during arrival and dismissal times at the school, said Trey Edwards, Victoria school district executive director of administration.

"The city wants to reduce the speed limit there and turn it into a school zone," Edwards said. "It's more of a safety issue there because of the high rate of vehicles out there."

A second entrance to the school is also being considered, Edwards said.

Edwards said the purchase of the 20 acres at the corner of U.S. Highway 87 and U.S. Highway 77 Frontage Road would help ease the process.

Charles Wagner, of Victoria, said he and five relatives own the property, which has been in their family for more than 150 years.

He said the land is for sale.

The school district and the city of Victoria have not approached him with an offer, Wagner said.

"It's pretty obvious that there's a traffic problem there, but no one has approached us," Wagner said.

The sale of the property is being managed by Lee Swearingen of Coldwell Banker, the Ron Brown Company, Wagner said.

According to the Victoria County tax assessor's website, the property is appraised at $43,489.

The land has been up for sale for about seven to eight years, Swearingen said.

"We're trying to sell it," Wagner said. "The state took half of the original property from us in the mid-90s when they built the loop, and we were trying to hold on to the rest of it, but now, it's too small to do anything on it."

Victoria school district officials also hope to extend Tropical Drive, the street leading into Victoria West, past Cade Middle School and onto future development of the area behind the schools.

4-way traffic light, possible second entrance coming to Victoria East

Clarification: The Victoria school district would have to study the feasibility and safety of a driveway onto U.S. Highway 77, using input from the city of Victoria and the Texas Department of Transportation, and the district would not consider the purchase of additional property until that was thoroughly considered. This information was not clear in a story on Page A1 on Friday.

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