"School Crossing Guard & Traffic Calming Measures Needed" at the Parker Road and Clark Parkway Intersection – Plano, TX
The City of Plano City Council will be considering the merits of approving a new “School Crossing Guard” location and performing “Traffic Calming Enhancements” at the intersection of Parker Road/Clark Parkway at an upcoming meeting in February 2017.
Historically, the City of Plano has not considered “middle schools” for crossing guard locations regardless of safety warrants; maintaining a policy of providing support to elementary schools only.
The City of Plano Resolution 84-10(R), provides that school crossing guards may be considered for “…elementary and middle schools if located immediately adjacent to each other.”
Neighborhood residents have identified significant safety concerns at the Parker Road/Clark Parkway Intersection and request the location of a “School Crossing Guard” and Traffic Calming Enhancements based on the following points:
A. School Crossing Guard.
1. Parker Road is a major connector from the N. Dallas Tollway to Preston Road and points east. The roadway consists of six-through lanes and two-turning lanes at its intersection with Clark Parkway. It is also the main crossing for PISD designated walkers to Renner Middle School.
The primary safety concerns include:
- High volume and speeding traffic heading East on Parker Road
- Lack of a “dedicated walk signal” at Parker Road/Clark Parkway intersection creating a conflict between children walking across Parker Road and vehicles turning right on to Parker Road from Clark Parkway as both receive a simultaneous “ok” to proceed thereby providing the false assumption both are safe to move through the intersection.
- Traffic making right-turn on red (from Clark Parkway onto Parker Road) often stop within the crosswalk and obstruct walkers from fully crossing Clark Parkway.
2. Resolution 84-10(R), adopted in 1984, is outdated and does not meet the current needs of the community, and does not consider the walking safety of middle school aged children.
3. The character & function of Parker Road/Clark Parkway has significantly changed in past 33 years since adoption of Resolution 84-10(R). Significant landuse and demographic changes have occurred including the technological advances that allow drivers and walking children to become more easily distracted, e.g., texting and talking on cell phones.
4. Crossing Conditions at Parker Road/Clark Parkway meet all three of the “Subjective Criteria” as established in Resolution 8410(R):
- Vehicles turning right-turn onto Parker Road from Clark Parkway have “limited visibility of pedestrians or bicyclists” (approaching from the south) as both receive the “green light/walk signal” to proceed into the intersection simultaneously.
- 6th graders, although attending middle school, for all intents and purposes, must be considered “elementary school aged”.
- A large number of “teens drive” to Plano West HS at the same time young Renner Middle School children attempt to cross at the Parker Road/Clark Intersection.
5. Children 10-14 years of age have the highest incidence of pedestrian injuries ((NHTSA Crash Report (February 2015)).
6. NHTSA statistics clearly suggest that middle school age children have an even greater need for supervised crossings at critical intersections such as Parker Road/Clark Parkway.
7. The U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration’s “Safe Routes To School (SRTS) program” list the benefits of children walking to and from school as:
- Decrease in childhood obesity
- Improved concentration
- Provides for almost all of the daily recommended minutes of exercise
8. The SRTS program notes that, “Safety issues are a big concern for parents, who consistently cite traffic danger as a reason why their children are unable to bicycle or walk to school.”
9. Families located within the PISD designated walking zone recognize the many benefits of their children walking to school and view walking as a positive.
10. Families located within the PISD designated walking zone also recognize the numerous hazards present at the Parker Road/Clark Parkway intersection and ask that the City provide their children a safe route to school.
B. Traffic Calming Enhancements.
- Place multiple “Yield to Pedestrians in Crosswalk” signs (in-street) between the lanes within the approach zones (both east and west bound) on the Parker Road tocreate a traffic calming effect and alert drivers of school children crossing;
- Modify the current traffic signal to provide a “dedicated walk” time for pedestrians (a walk signal that is “user activated” and separate from the green light for vehicles
- Provide enhanced pavement markings, “School Xing Ahead” and “Slow” in the approach zones on Parker Road (east/west bound); and
- Add non-obtrusive rumble strips (to create vibration alerting drivers of upcoming crossing) within the east and west bound travel lane approach zones on Parker Road.
We the undersigned, respectfully ask the City of Plano City Council to: (1) approve the location of a School Crossing Guard at the intersection of Parker Road and Clark Parkway (as provided for in Section 12-11(c) of the City’s Codified Ordinances & Resolution 84-10(R)) in order to create a safe pedestrian route to the Renner Middle School for the children who are "designated walkers" by the Plano Independent School District (PISD) and reside on the south side of Parker Road; and (2), to institute "physical traffic calming enhancements" to the Parker Road/Clark Parkway intersection in order to increase safety for PISD walkers and all pedestrians crossing at that location.