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Mayor orders traffic lights to stay near Dundee Elementary

Posted at 1:03 PM, Oct 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-03 14:03:17-04

The city of Omaha almost removed the traffic signals at two Dundee intersections last year. Now both are here to stay after a parent-teacher group convinced the city to take a closer look.

Trisha Howard calls Tuesday a win for Dundee parents just like her. The mother of four was among those who helped convince Mayor Jean Stothert and the city to take a closer look at the intersections of 51st and Farnam along with 52nd and Chicago.

The city almost took them down for good last year. That plan caused concern for parents whose children walk to Dundee Elementary along the route. The mayor says it just needed a closer look.

"You have to stop and think about the age of these kids who are walking to school," Mayor Stothert said. "If they're used to taking that route to school in the mornings, our number one responsibility as city government is public safety."

Howard is a part of the Dundee Parent Teacher Organization and the Cross-Walk Committee, two groups making this happen. She walks with her daughter up and down 52nd Street almost every day and calls Dundee a walking neighborhood.

Howard can easily get to parts of the neighborhood without driving. To her, there was no question the signals needed to stay.

"I am thankful to the mayor for making this decision she made," Howard said. "We went to her and expressed we didn't think this was a fair and just policy. She listened to us, she did the research and she changed and put a new policy in place that is right and keeps our kids safe."

A third traffic signal at 108th and Oak near Rockbrook Elementary will also stay. While the mayor says money did not play a part in the decision, it will cost roughly $100,000 to upgrade the signals.

Over the next ten years, the city is implementing a project to modernize outdated signals around the city.