New school presents traffic challenges

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BUSY INTERSECTION - Decatur Police Chief Rex Hoskins helps direct traffic at the intersection of County Road 4191 and Farm Road 51 Tuesday morning. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Students aren’t the only ones who have to adjust when a new school opens. Parents have a learning curve as well.

In the case of the new Young Elementary School, parents are adjusting to a new traffic routine, and Decatur Police Chief Rex Hoskins said there are still challenges to overcome.

“We’ve had some problems,” Hoskins said Thursday. “One is a backup in the southbound lanes of Farm Road 51, sometimes almost to the rodeo grounds.”

Traffic on southbound FM 51 must wait for northbound traffic to clear before making the left turn onto County Road 4191, also known as Buchanan Road. Although a turning lane was recently added to accommodate southbound traffic turning onto CR 4191, the backup often exceeds the length of the turning lane.

Hoskins said he will probably meet with local Texas Department of Transportation officials this week to see if anything can be done to relieve the congestion. Hoskins said he believes the intersection will eventually need a red light.

In the meantime, he hopes the speed limit can be lowered from 60 mph in the area of the intersection.

Another item of concern is drivers turning right onto FM 51 from CR 4191. An acceleration lane has been added, but Hoskins said it is not being used properly. The lane includes a solid white line separating the acceleration lane from the northbound lane of traffic.

Drivers in the acceleration lane are supposed to travel the entire length of the lane before merging with the northbound lane, but many drivers are crossing the white line. Hoskins said officers will begin enforcing the rule this week.

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