The last school bell may have rung, but Hillsborough County Public Works is already gearing up for next school year.
Next month a new school zone sign will be installed in front of Deer Park Elementary School along Citrus Park Drive, denoting the 20-mph zone, confirmed Steve Valdez, spokesman for the county's public works department.
The sign will be placed so that motorists exiting the school will be reminded of the slow speed.
It's bittersweet news to parents like Ellen Faingold, who expressed her concerns about safety along the roads surrounding the school. After sending an email to county officials about several safety issues, she had hoped the county would heed the concerns by installing a flashing light school zone sign for motorists exiting the school.
"Ever since our school was built, there has only been a proper school zone with signs and flashing lights entering the school zone," Faingold said.
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But for motorists exiting the school, there was no sign reminding them to maintain a slower speed limit.
"So people just speed like crazy after drop off," Faingold said. "It is ridiculous."
Faingold sent Hillsborough County officials an email outlining her concerns about the sign, in addition to the need for a longer left-turn light at Citrus Park Drive and Countryway Boulevard, and speeding at the intersection of Countryway Boulevard and Oaksbury Drive.
Her letter resulted in the county programming a longer wait time for the left-turn lane at Citrus Park Drive onto Countryway Boulevard.
"It has been awesome in the mornings," Faingold said about the longer turn signal.
The decision to install a non-flashing light sign is a disappointment, Faingold said.
"I think it is only right that a flashing sign be assigned to our school zone," said Faingold, noting that Citrus Park, Westchase, Bryant and Lowry elementary schools have flashing light signs for motorists entering and exiting the schools.
Valdez said county officials studied the area carefully to determine the best traffic calming measures.
"It probably wasn't necessary to put in flashing lights," Valdez said, noting the school sits on a dead-end street. "It's not like there's going to be cars zooming past."
The sign is expected to be installed next month, Valdez said.
Do you think the sign is enough? Let us know in the comments section.