The Southside Light News
Rancho Vista—School is back in session for the 2019-2020 school year and gone are the quiet summer days where morning commuters can get to work without encountering inevitable school-related traffic jams and delays.
On the south side, traffic volumes increase between 20 and 30 percent from 7 to 8 a.m. once school starts, according to the most recent traffic surveys and the problem is only getting worse as construction compounds the issues—especially around Airline and Yorktown.
Traffic engineers say that around Corpus Christi the dependence on personal vehicles, particularly in more economically sound areas, has increased over time and that they say is adding to the pressure.
In addition to more cars on the road now that school has started, back-to-school season causes very specific changes to traffic patterns around schools during dropoffs and pickups.
For example, the area where Airline and Rodd Field meet near Kolda Elementary saw massive tie ups Monday morning as traffic was backed up down Rodd Field to Yorktown and the Yorktown nearly halfway to the Oso. Those tie ups were perhaps some of the worst in the city Monday morning and the hope is that it will get better as parents get down the routine.
Margie Van Schyck lives in the Rancho Vista subdivision along Yorktown and the severity of delays caused her oldest daughter to be late to her first day of her Senior year.
“We left 30 minutes early and that still wasn’t enough,” said Van Schyck. “You had cars just blocking roads and construction vehicles doing their thing and police trying to keep it organized. It was just an absolute mess.”
Ronnie Burke said that he felt the same way taking his kids to school Monday morning a Veterans Memorial High School.
“Once you get away from that area around Kolda it’s ok but you have all of those younger parents trying to make cell phone memories tying things up around there,” Burke says. “Everybody wanted a picture, I guess.”
But for families who live in the Rancho Vista neighborhood the frustration was compounded by a lack of planning many of them say.
“The contractors are making matters worse,” said Vernon Timms who was over an hour late getting to work downtown because of the traffic. “We need better traffic control there and not just a motorcycle cop in front of Kolda.”
We reached out to the city who said that they were monitoring the situation and the experiences that folks are having in the area. They say that while there are no plans for broader traffic control plans such as a temporary traffic light at Rancho Vista and Yorktown, they are watching it closely.
Elsewhere, it seemed like only the normal first day of school problems around the city. Flour Bluff ISD had no particular concerns except for reports of busses running late in both the morning and afternoon which is to be expected.
The area along Hustlin’ Hornet between Laguna Shores and Waldron in from of the Flour Bluff Junior High seemed to run without any major problems Monday morning as students made their way back to school. However, as construction ramps up along Laguna Shores, many school commuters wonder just how long the peace will last?
As construction is heavily underway around the current Mary Carroll High School, there were only limited delays in that area. Drivers though admittedly slightly delayed, experienced no major concerns there either.
So as goes another school year it does seem that the problems abound at least in one area and officials are at least monitoring it. City and area school district officials say that drivers should just be patient and let’s all get through week number one.
If you see a traffic issue that needs our attention let us know!