City of Erie Plans to Install Ten Solar-Powered Flashing School Zone Signs
Many parents at a couple of schools in the city of Erie are concerned, because drivers are consistently ignoring those school zone signs, putting their children in danger.
We're talking specifically about west 11th street, near Sassafras Street, where children from both the Luther Memorial Academy and Mother Teresa Academy attend school.
Just in a short time on Monday, our Erie News Now camera spotted many drivers disregarding the 15-mile-per-hour school zone speed limit signs.
It's an issue parents tell us they see every day, “A lot of them do ignore the fact that there is a school zone here,” said Ron Rice, whose son goes to Mother Teresa Academy. “It gets a little ridiculous, it's only a couple minutes out of somebody's time (to slow down),” Rice continued.
“It just seems like people are trying to get somewhere fast, and they don't pay attention to the signs,” Terri O'Neill said, as a car sped past.
But thanks to a hefty, $1 Million 'Safe Routes to School' grant from PennDOT, we learned more about the plans in the works to address their concerns.
LeAnn Parmenter, the City of Erie's Traffic Engineer, says after they got the grant in May of 2018, they found out what and where the biggest needs are, “We've contacted all the schools, so we've heard all their concerns about sidewalk conditions, signing, crosswalk markings, and the school zone flashers.”
Parmenter says the city plans to install 10 solar-powered flashing school lights throughout the city, “We're hoping to go with solar, so that would limit our energy usage,” said Parmenter “It's a great opportunity for us to make the school zones safer, to make sure people know they're in the school zones,” Parmenter continued.
Once the city approves its preliminary prices and locations for improvements, it’ll submit those plans to PennDOT, and once approved, the city will start the work.
The city says they hope to start installing those flashing school zones signs in the summer.
Some of the planned locations for those flashing school zone signs include:
Luther Memorial Academy
Mother Teresa Academy
East Middle School
Strong Vincent Middle School
Harding Elementary School
Wilson Middle School
Pfeiffer-Burleigh Elementary School
McKinley Elementary School