Traffic at Helen Ball Elementary School concerns parents

Traffic jam near SISD school

EL PASO, Texas - Students in the Socorro Independent School District ended their first week of school Friday.

That usually means much worse traffic conditions as parents begin dropping students off and picking them up.

ABC-7 viewer Jay wrote to us concerning traffic near Helen Ball Elementary School, noting it was busier than usual.

"Helen Ball Elementary School traffic (is) causing major traffic congestion  on Montwood Street during start and release times. No parking (is) available for parents on site and in surrounding neighborhoods as no parking signs have been placed by the city in surrounding neighborhoods," Jay wrote.

Parents were eager to respond to the traffic dilemma. Many admitted they expected the traffic but still struggled with it.

"It's so hard because the traffic is bad. We don't have enough parking to stay here, so we have to come early and take a place as we find it," parent Rose Hernandez said.

Some parents believe construction on Loop 375 may be to blame for the congestion.

"There's quite a bit of construction going on, so it does back up the traffic quite a bit," said mother Sonia Peralta.

However, Texas Department of Transportation spokeswoman Blanca Del Valle said Montwood Street is simply a popular exit and frequently used route, regardless of construction.

"The only lane closure in place is the northbound left lane on Joe Battle Blvd. just before Montwood. We try not to impact the traveling public and have major closures late at night. There has always been traffic back up during peak hours at Montwood and Zaragoza. With the construction of the two direct connectors, we are hoping to ease present congestion problems," Del Valle said in a statement.

Socorro Independent School District spokesman Daniel Escobar agreed that the construction likely is not a major cause of the congestion around the school. Instead, he said the new school year brings more parents on campus, which leads to more traffic.

"To start the school year, parents are invited to walk their children into their classrooms to help with the transition and ensure students feel comfortable, which does impact traffic flow. This is anticipated and managed accordingly," Escobar said.

Parents like Evelin Lopez just hope the traffic dies down as the school year continues.

"In the mornings it takes forever to get in and out. You know the school tries as much as they can to flow traffic, but it is hard," she said.

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