Speed Busters: Wimauma dad concerned for daughters, other elementary school children on busy US-301

WIMAUMA, Fla. (WFLA) – Speed Busters is in Wimauma on Thursday on a major roadway which boasts interstate speeds, but residential neighborhoods.

A worried father contacted News Channel 8 Traffic Reporter Leslee Lacey because the elementary school bus lets his children off on busy US- 301. So Leslee grabbed the Speed Buster gun and headed out.

The stretch of 301 in question is by Hidden Creek Boulevard and has a speed limit of 60 mph. It’s also a stretch where a Hillsborough County School bus drops off and picks up elementary kids, and that has some fathers very nervous.

Paul Gonzalez has two daughters that ride the bus and live at the Vista Palms Subdivision next to the bus stop.

“The bus stops right here. Right on 301. The road itself. And it lowers the arm down and sometimes you’ll get cars that wanna run right through here to the right. We’re concerned about the safety of our children,” he said.

Gonzalez knows drivers are supposed to stop, but he and his two daughters believe a school bus stop on this 60 mph road is too dangerous.

Leslee asked Gonzalez’s daughter Aryanna how she feels when the bus pulls up on the busy road of US-301.

“I don’t feel it’s safe.”

His other daughter, Kayla, echoed the same sentiment to Leslee.

“I get afraid because all the cars go fast by it.”

So Leslee checked some of the speeds by the bus stop and it was like an interstate. She caught several vehicles going 69 mph and clocked one at 71 and another at 75, which is 15 mph over the speed limit.

Gonzalez and other parents just want the kids dropped off inside the subdivision.

After the elementary bus leaves, a later Hillsborough County School bus enters the subdivision, does a complete U-turn and drops off a child in the community before exiting.

Gonzalez and other parents told Leslee they want they want the elementary bus to do the same thing.

Jerry Corwin has a grandson who rides the bus and is also very concerned they are too close to 301.

“It’s the children. That’s the big issue. We don’t want somebody getting ran over by the cars, and you know, people blow by the bus too,” he said.

Leslee asked Kayla and Aryanna Gonzalez what they would like to see accomplished.

“I want to have it moved to the clubhouse because it’s safer because they can make a U-turn in the parking lot. And while the kids wait they can play on the playground. Which would also make them happy,” Aryanna said.

Kayla said she also wanted the bus stop moved off of 301 and into the subdivision.

Leslee took Gonzalez’s concerns to Tanya Arja with Hillsborough County Schools. Tanya told Leslee the transportation department says the developer Lennar Homes has been informed they need to build a road that goes straight through, or create a circular area for buses to safely turn around. Leslee also spoke with representatives from Lennar homes, and Mark Metheny the Tampa Division President says, “A route that goes completely through Vista Palms, entering the community on U.S. 301 and then exiting the community on U.S. 301, is under construction, with a completion date expected for spring of 2018.”

In the meantime, Leslee informed Arja about the Hillsborough County bus that currently takes a U-turn in the subdivision and drops off a child inside the community after the Elementary School bus leaves. Arja says she will take that information to the transportation department. Leslee will be following up.

Leslee informed her about the Hillsborough County bus that currently takes a U-turn in the subdivision and drops off a child inside the community after the elementary school bus leaves.

Arja says she will take that information to the transportation department.

Leslee also spoke with a communication representative for Lennar Homes, who said he would be getting back with her.

If you have a speeding issue in your area, contact Leslee on her Facebook page and she may be able to bring Speed Busters to you.

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