Randall Middle School and Principal Claire Mawhinney hosted a meeting attended by several organizations and county groups earlier this month. Safe Bus for US!!! Advocacy for Safe School Bus Transportation’s Josephine Amato organized this meeting to address concerns regarding students arriving and leaving school safely.

Hillsborough County Public School (HCPS) Transportation Department, State District 57 Representative Michael Beltran’s office; HCPS Board Member Melissa Snively; Randall Middle and Newsome High School’s Resource Officers and Lieutenant from Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO); Newsome’s Principal Carla Bruning and Randall’s Principal Claire Mawhinney; local and county PTSA representatives; and Hillsborough County Public Works’ traffic division all attended the meeting.

With all the different departments represented, resolutions to high-priority items were heard and addressed. The first concern was the crosswalk at the corner of FishHawk Crossing Blvd. and FishHawk Blvd. where cars turn right on red not allowing students to fully utilize the crosswalk during the pedestrian crossing signal time frame. According to Public Works’ traffic division, they had already ordered the ‘blank out’ signs, which will be installed over the summer. The signs will not allow cars to turn right on red.

The second concern was the extension of the ‘End Of School Zone’ sign to include the crosswalk previously mentioned. This would allow the speed zone to remain 20 mph as students cross instead of the current 45 mph. While the concern was heavily addressed by many, including the HCSO, unfortunately, the Public Works did not see the immediate danger and would readdress it in the future.

Other concerns include the plastic poles (quick curbs) at the crosswalk on FishHawk Blvd. unintentionally routing students into the road; the crosswalk in the middle of Newsome parent car line; pathways from FishHawk Trails and FishHawk Ranch Phase One cutting through CDD and TECO property and leaving students to cut through a high traffic parking lots; and continued discussion defining the county’s definition of ‘hazardous conditions.’

For more information and updates, visit www.facebook.com/groups/safebusforus/.