KISSIMMEE, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Students and parents want changes at a Kissimmee intersection after a school teacher was hit by a car there.
According to a letter from the Osceola County School for the Arts, the staff member was hit by a car while crossing North Orange Blossom Trail on Monday. They said the vehicle was turning left out of the shopping center across the street.
That woman, an art teacher at the school told FOX35 by phone Wednesday that she was still in the hospital dealing with several injuries, and was just glad that her daughter crossing the street with her didn’t get hit.
Some parents and students at the school believe the problem lies in an outdated traffic pattern at the intersection.
Jacqueline Pavlat and her mom Stacy said the shopping center across from the school is a fairly new addition to the area and it’s only really become a factor for them in this new school year.
"People use it as shortcuts and stuff like that to get to school in the morning,” said Jacqueline adding that many of her fellow students also have after school jobs at the stores there.
While that’s added traffic crossing over and onto OBT, the Pavlats said the traffic lights don’t seem to be set up to handle all of that.
The lights turning from the shopping center don’t include a designated left turn arrow, and when someone activates the crosswalk the actual walk sign turns at the same time the green light to turn left does. So vehicles and people are both trying to cross the busy highway at the same time.
A lot of drivers could also be seen making right turns through the crosswalks with little yield Wednesday night.
Jacqueline said she’s seen several other close calls at the intersection and is, herself, unwilling to cross on foot.
Steve Olson with the Florida Department of Transportation said in a statement:
Safety is the top priority for the Florida Department of Transportation. Our district traffic operations section has been alerted to the issue, and is planning an expedited review to evaluate need for possible signal modifications, including turning phases and timing. We will also work with the local governmental jurisdiction and law enforcement.
Meanwhile the Pavlats have reached out to local law enforcement asking for more attention at the crossing on school days; hoping a better solution will move quickly to the troublesome crossing.
The teacher who was hit hopes to be out of the hospital in the coming days.