Safe Routes to School

The Coppell ISD Board of Trustees named several routes as hazardous during Monday night’s board workshop.

According to a staff memo, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) allows school districts to obtain supplemental state funding for transporting students who live within two miles of their school but who would be subjected to potentially hazardous conditions if they walked to school.

CISD officials said the district was ineligible to receive this funding from the TEA until the latest legislative session. For the first time, the district will submit documents to receive the state transportation allotment. To do this, the district must adopt a resolution prior to the first day of school identifying the hazardous routes and what defines a hazardous route.

“This is a result of House Bill 3 and our ability to now submit for transportation reimbursement for $1 per mile,” said Sid Grant, associate superintendent. “...This (resolution) is designating areas or roadways that are potentially related to areas that we deem as hazardous."

CISD board policy defines that a hazardous traffic condition exists where no walkway is provided and students must walk along or cross a freeway or expressway, an underpass, overpass or a bridge, an uncontrolled major traffic artery, an industrial or commercial area or another comparable condition.

For example, some students attending Austin Elementary have to cross or walk along Sandy Lake Road, Belt Line Road or the Cotton Belt Railroad tracks to get to school. Under the approved resolution, these traffic areas are deemed hazardous. Other areas include MacArthur Boulevard, Highway 121, Interstate 635, Denton Tap Road and Olympus Boulevard.

Grant said the defined routes can be changed at any time if necessary. Next year, the district will take a comprehensive look at all areas and routes to bring forward different transportation recommendations to the board, he said.

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