Posted: Sep 6, 2012 8:35 PM
Updated: Sep 7, 2012 12:26 AM
EDINBURG - School starts at 8 a.m. for Samantha and Robbie Salazar. But school is not their main concern. They say crossing a street to get there is the worrisome part of their day.
The children said their 10-minute walk to school is nerve-racking. And a crosswalk is the most dangerous part of their trek.
"I don't know if it's the button or the screen, but they don't work. It's hard to cross," Samantha said. "We have to guess our own way to cross the street."
A CHANNEL 5 NEWS crew accompanied the children recently and discovered that some drivers did not respect the pedestrian signals. One of the pedestrian signals gave the children a mere 4 seconds to cross the street. The entire signal lasted 13 seconds.
"The walk sign stays for less than 5 seconds it is not enough time for us to walk," Samantha said.
The children said the signals sometimes don't work.
"When we are coming back from school, that doesn't work," Samantha said.
The children said they've had some close calls.
"Getting hit is our main concern," she said. "I really want those pedestrian-crossing lights to work ... it will be a lot of help for us."
The school principal said she was not aware the pedestrian lights were a problem. She said no parent or student had reported the lights.
The principal said she would have security guards make sure the children were safe.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS went to the city of Edinburg to speak with the department in charge of the lights. Less than an hour later a crew was at the intersection fixing the problem.
Edinburg Public Works Director Ponciano Longoria met with CHANNEL 5 NEWS to say the pedestrian signal timing was standard for the traffic at the intersection.
"When it's white, it tells you to come ... when it's flashing, it tells you get across the street but if you are on the other side don't go," Longoria said.
He said his workers checked the crossing signals to see if the crossing times needed to be extended.
"All intersections matter, especially if the schools are around," Longoria said.