Fruita beefing up school zone safety

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - The City of Fruita is spending thousands of dollars to make its' school zones safer. It will include installing flashing signals to alert drivers.

"So many people speed through here and don't pay attention," says Jennifer Miles.

School zones are supposed to provide a safe area for students to walk and bike to school, but Fruita parent, Jennifer Miles days the streets around Shelledy Elementary, can get a little nuts.

"With everybody driving their kids to school, it gets pretty full," says Miles.

Miles hopes her 2 year-old son will one day attend Shelledy Elementary and because they only live a little more than a mile away...

"When he's older I definitely think he'll walk to school," says Miles.

And that's why she's thankful to learn school zones near the school are getting a remodel.

The City of Fruita says it plans to install fourteen flashing school zone signals around Fruita's 5 schools.

"I think it's a great idea. It's definitely a safety thing," says Miles.

Fruita City Officials say keeping their small town image is very important to Fruita residents.

"One of the best ways to do that is to make sure kids can walk to schools," says Clint Kinney, Fruita city manager.

Kinney says many kids already walk and bike to school and he hopes to boost those numbers by making routes safer.

"It's healthier for the kids. We can have less traffic in town and it just helps create a great atmosphere for the community," says Kinney.

The upgrades will cost more than $63,000 and the city will pay for it with grant money from C-DOT.

All fourteen school zone signals will even be solar-powered.

"We're very proud about receiving this grant, there was a lot of competition for it and we really think it's going to contribute to maintain our small town atmosphere," says Kinney.

Officials say the fourteen flashing lights should go up sometime this fall and where the school zones are won't change.

For parents, like Miles, it's just good to know safety comes first.

Until the lights go up, crossing guards and law enforcement will continue to monitor school zones in Fruita.

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