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Pacelli campus is a good step

Published 8:24am Sunday, March 9, 2014

Pacelli Catholic Schools seeks to vacate Third Avenue Northwest between Fourth and Fifth Streets to increase safety and to create a new school campus. While the move eliminates a thoroughfare along Fourth Street Northwest, we support the idea and encourage city officials to let Pacelli take over the road.

Austin may have many charms, but our city’s municipal roads layout is not one of them. There are too many ill-advised intersections and street designs that were created as solutions to a booming population. The crooked intersection between Fourth Street and Third Avenue is one of them. The city will improve by no longer allowing cars to awkwardly barrel through the crosswalk there, especially during the morning and afternoon when students from Austin High School and Pacelli Catholic Schools are walking.

Pacelli improves by guaranteeing the safety of its students. No longer will teachers and parents have to worry about cars when they usher elementary students across the avenue to Pacelli High School. Students looking to get to the elementary school’s cafeteria will be able to do so without traffic worries. This seems like a win for all involved.

We do not deny that removing a way to cross the street will impact commuters trying to get to their northwest neighborhood homes. Yet Pacelli’s safety concerns outweigh the potential traffic impact, as residents can still travel a block or two north to find another avenue.

This is a sensible move by all parties involved, and a rare opportunity for the city to remove a potentially dangerous intersection. We support Pacelli’s efforts to maintain its students’ safety and look forward to the results.

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