Overcrowded Orange County school causes traffic hazard

Updated:

Loading

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Schools are overflowing with students in west Orange County and one county commissioner says it's even causing a road hazard.

Sunset Park Elementary along State Road 535 is over capacity by 400 students.

That means more cars picking up their kids and frustrating other drivers.

The county said it plans to build a relief school to take in students and relieve the overcrowding.

Traffic turning from State Road 535 onto the small two lane Overstreet Road leading to the school is so dangerous, so congested that government leaders launched a multi-agency offensive to get the problem under control.

Hundreds of Sunset Park Elementary School parents are terrified over a dangerous cocktail of traffic congestion, tiny children, and a dead end street leading to the school.

"The traffic is very dangerous," parent Leanne Flynn said.

"That is my hope, that no one ever gets hurt," parent Jane Dunkelberger said.

Orange County Commissioner Scott Boyd fears that's exactly what might happen.

"There's a lot of dangerous behavior that's been going on out here," Boyd said.

But as soon as the clock strikes dismissal time for Sunset Park Elementary, traffic at State Road 535 and Overstreet Road grinds to a halt."

That's when things really get hazardous.

"You'll see people pass two or three cars to make a right in front of them," Boyd said.

"So, this is a life-threatening issue here?" Channel 9's Mario Boone said.

"Oh, absolutely," Boyd said.

Sunset Park Elementary is supposed to hold about 800 students, but explosive growth in west Orange County pushed that number past 1,200 students.

Relief won't come until August of 2015 when a new school will open.

"It'll relieve the school by about 500 students," Scott Howat of Orange County Public Schools said.

Meanwhile, County leaders from several departments met Wednesday to discuss a more immediate solution.

"We have a plan after the semester ends that we'll be able to implement," Howat said.

One of those immediate fixes includes not allowing parents to stack along Overstreet Road.