Grandparent expresses concern over intersection near school

Oct. 17, 2011 at 5:17 a.m.

When Kim Lopez went to pick up her 5-year-old grandson from Smith Elementary School, she saw a near collision that rattled her.

As a woman pushed her 6-month-old baby in a stroller across Love Street, someone came around the corner and nearly hit the stroller.

The carriage fell over, but the driver - who Lopez recognized as another mother picking up a student - did not stop to check on them, she said.

Lopez took the car's license plate number and called the police, but there was nothing they could do.

Lopez, 41, of Victoria, who lives near the crossing, said she witnesses close calls such as these every day and has spoken with the Victoria Police Department and various departments in the Victoria school district.

So far, she does not feel as if her concern has been addressed.

"They just keep running me in circles. No one is willing to do anything," Lopez said.

She said the school district said the intersection is not part of its jurisdiction and directed Lopez to the engineering and traffic control department of the city of Victoria.

Police Traffic Safety Supervisor Sgt. Julian Huerta said there are no dangerous intersections in the city of Victoria. Rather, he said, dangers are presented when drivers are careless.

"We have drivers who don't pay attention or are talking on their cell phone or fiddling with their radio," Huerta said. "There are hundreds of different traffic violations that lead to accidents each day."

If residents witness problem areas or repeat offenses, they can call the Victoria Police Department.

"Call the police department and ask for an officer to check the situation," Huerta said. The department can send a frequent patrol to the area during the problem times to catch the act in progress, Huerta said.

"The officers can take whatever action they deem is necessary in response to what they see when they are there," Huerta said.

For specific instances individuals would like reviewed, they can file a complaint through the municipal court based on what they witnessed.

To bring a case before the court, residents will want physical evidence such as a recording or a picture, or multiple witnesses to make their case for a judge.

Deputy Director of Public Works Jimmy Roach said he concurs with Huerta and has had no reason to further investigate the intersection of Miori Lane and Love Street.

"A stop sign for that intersection is adequate," Roach said. "We all need to be responsible for the way we drive and what we do while we are driving - look out for the other man."

The safety of intersections is determined and reviewed by engineers with the city of Victoria. Concerns about particular intersections should be directed to the public works office.

Diane Boyett, director of communications for VISD, said the district works with the city and the county to devise safe plans for traffic flows around the schools.

"We would certainly ask motorists and expect motorists to exercise caution in these high traffic areas," she said, "especially around dismissal times."



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