Parents lobby for downtown Dallas school zone

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by STEVE STOLER

WFAA

Posted on September 11, 2012 at 5:40 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 11 at 5:57 PM

Pegasus School

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DALLAS — Parents and students at a downtown Dallas charter school say help is needed to ensure the safety of their kids.

They're calling on the city to establish school zones, flashing lights, or signs.

The Pegasus School of Liberal Arts and Sciences is a charter school in the heart of downtown on Field Street, one of the only schools in the area.

Parents say that makes for a dangerous mix of kids and heavy traffic.

Four-hundred students from kindergarten through sixth grade attend Pegasus, and an accident last Friday has worried parents asking, "What if?" What if their youngsters had been on the sidewalk when a wrong-way driver on Field Street hit five cars and wound up on a sidewalk.

"This is a problem," said parent Charles Garden. "There's a lot of traffic on this street. There needs at least to be a school zone."

Tammy Newman, the manager of a Subway restaurant next door to the school, said she's been worried about safety since it opened.

"My concerns are the cars that drive by here really fast when they let out," she said. "They need to start slowing down."

Some parents are trying to drum up support for mote safety measures. School officials said there have been no accidents involving students, but they want to talk with city officials about what can be done.

"It's a challenge, because you are in an urban environment," said Pegasus School assistant superintendent Frances Teran. "You've got businesses here, and people who work downtown, and a lot of rules and regulations."

But establishing a school zone in an urban environment like downtown won't be easy. City engineers said it would require a study to determine if the area meets the criteria for lower speed limits, a zone without lower speeds, or crosswalks.

Parents say the study would be worth it.

"I thought that the flashing lights and school zone were standard with every school — from daycare to secondary education," said Garden. "That's a concern."

Parents said they're thankful no children have been hurt, and they want to make sure it stays that way.

E-mail sstoler@wfaa.com

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