Tyler drivers may get some relief to their commutes if a proposal by Texas Department of Transporation to reduce some school zone times makes its way to Tyler City Council.
The Texas Department of Transportation has requested that the city reduce the times when some school zones are active in the mornings and afternoons. The reductions vary by schools, but the proposal would reduce active school zone times by one hour for some schools.
The city of Tyler Traffic Safety Board reviewed and discussed TxDOT's recommendation during a meeting this week. The board cannot approve any proposals but can recommend proposals for review and vote by the Tyler City Council.
City of Tyler Associate Traffic Engineer Jordan Yutzy presented a proposal to the traffic board on Wednesday that showed reduced times for when school zones would be enforced. He said they've recieved complaints over the years from residents who said the city's zones were too long.
There are 144 different school zones in Tyler, including public and private schools. Of those, 21 are located on major roadways, and 10 are on state highways, according to information presented in the proposal. The proposal would impact all city school zones, including those in the city near private and charter schools.
Yutzy said Tyler ISD had been presented with the idea of lowering the school zone periods in August of 2015, and the district didn’t oppose the idea if it was to be approved.
Current School Zone Times at TISD
• Elementary schools: 7-9 a.m. and 2 to 4 p.m.
• Middle schools: 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 2 to 4 p.m.
• High schools: 8 to 8:45 a.m. and 4 to 4:45 p.m.
• Hubbard Middle School: 7 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 4:30 p.m.
The proposed times include:
• Elementary schools: 7 to 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 to 4 p.m.
• Middle schools: 7:45 to 8:45 a.m. and 3:15 to 4:15 p.m.
• High schools: 8 to 8:45 a.m. and 3:45 to 4:30 p.m.
The proposal also leaves room for adjustments to be made to accommodate after school programs. Tyler ISD’s news school schedule is accounted for in the proposal.
No action was taken on Wednesday, and no decision was made on when the proposal would be presented to Tyler City Council.
“Every year they change the time we need to kind of move it to fit the school zone better, but also (make sure) we’re not necessarily inconveniencing the public,” Peter Eng, city engineer said. “It’s always a balance.”