SLOW DOWN!: New school signs to help slow Pasco drivers

PASCO, Wash. - New plans to ramp up safety at school crossings. It's a change coming to many schools around Pasco. KEPR looked into the trouble spots there and at other school crossings in the Tri-Cities.

Jose Sanchez has lived and raised his five children in east Pasco for the last 13 years. Only a couple blocks from Virgie Robinson elementary. And Jose has grown more concerned about the changes he sees.

"I have noticed the traffic has been increasing more and more cars each year, seems there is more and more cars," said Jose Sanchez.

Jose actually transferred one of his daughters out of Virgie Robinson Elementary. He thought the high-speed drivers were just too risky to allow her to walk to school safely.

"Over there it's too fast, I said it would be safer for us to keep her down here," said Sanchez.

And the city of Pasco is looking to ensure that safety. Officials are spending more than 100-grand to add and update flashing signs in different school zones. They include both high schools and McLoughlin, as well as Maya Angelou, McGee, and Virgie Robinson, by Jose's home.

"In here, these roads, people drive crazy, there is no doubt about it," said Sanchez.

KEPR also checked into the most troublesome school zones in Kennewick and Richland. Police in Kennewick tell me the spot they hear about the most is at Desert Hills and Amistad Elementary. Richland says no particular school zone is worse than the other, but they see the most action at the intersection of Columbia Center Blvd and SR-240, closest to Vista Elementary.

"I would like to see the city do something more about it, get traffic slower," said Sanchez.

Getting traffic slower will give fathers and residents like Jose a better piece of mind.

"Kids walking to school, I think it would benefit everyone if they slow down some," said Sanchez.

Officials tell KEPR that the upgraded signs in Pasco will be installed starting in September. They will finish city-wide by late fall.