by: Will DuPree
Posted: Jun 19, 2019 / 08:48 PM CDT / Updated: Jun 19, 2019 / 08:50 PM CDT
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WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — A joint project between the City of Austin and Williamson County may help address some long-standing traffic and safety concerns near several schools in the north Austin area.
The Austin City Council approved an agreement Wednesday with Williamson County to potentially add new safeguards along Pearson Ranch Road, which runs by three Round Rock Independent School District school buildings. The proposal now needs approval from the Williamson County Commissioners Court, which may vote on it in early July.
The plan came together after months-long discussions between Terry Cook, the county commissioner for precinct one, and Jimmy Flannigan, the City Council member for district six.
School leaders, parents, and city/county officials helped formulate the proposed fixes to deal with safety issues for vehicles and pedestrians alike near Patsy Sommer Elementary School, Elsa England Elementary School and Pearson Ranch Middle School.
“What we have, unfortunately, with two of those schools [Elsa England and Pearson Ranch] is that Round Rock ISD built them on one side of a very busy street,” Flannigan explained. “All of the kids that attend that school are on the other side of that very busy street, so you have kids crossing and having kind of a traffic nightmare. The more unsafe it is to cross the street, the more parents put their kids in cars and make the traffic nightmare worse, so we have evolved a series of improvements in partnership with Williamson County, which will hopefully address most, if not all, of these concerns.”