FBISD graduation turns into foot race as traffic backups prevent timely arrivals

Lileana Pearson Image
Saturday, May 25, 2024
FBISD graduation turns into foot race as traffic slows down arrivals
Fort Bend ISD had graduation at the Epicenter, but major traffic delays caused graduates to run past the feeder roads to receive their diplomas.

ROSENBERG, Texas (KTRK) -- Intense traffic backups meant students walked down feeder roads and across busy intersections to make it to their Fort Bend High School graduation.

Friday was day two of the chaos outside the Fort Bend epicenter, where graduations are being held through the weekend.

A diploma dash wasn't on Friday's itinerary, and students didn't wear the shoes for it.

"I'm running late right now. I got to be there in 10 or 12 (minutes)," one student who ditched his family and the car to run for the Fort Bend County Epicenter said.

The backups were out of control down the feeders, up into exits, and along the side roads. Some refused to sit in traffic for long.

"We waited for like 10 minutes," two students said.

Others waited as long as they could. One mom held her daughter's arm as she ran her through lanes of traffic and up to a police cruiser for help.

"Hey, sir! Can you take her, please?" the mom asked as she helped her daughter get into the cruiser and was driven to the front doors.

"Just go, just go! West side, thank you," the mom yelled to the officer as she took off on foot. They were 10 minutes late for the noon graduation.

Some sprinted, and cars jumped to the curb to arrive on time.

"I know it's pretty frustrating. My mom is in traffic and can't get here, and my sister is in traffic and has to get out and start walking. Yeah, it's bad," a sister told ABC13 as she waited for her sister to run into the parking lot.

Families said that not only are some students missing out on an important milestone, but they're also having to make risky decisions about their safety.

"This is crazy. I've never seen anything like this in my life," a father who stopped to speak with ABC13 said.

Parents said they think this is the result of poor traffic management.

In addition, people are required to pay for parking, which creates even slower movement at the parking lot entrance.

Eventually, paying for parking went out the window in an attempt to move cars faster.

The whole affair was a chaotic sendoff from teen to adulthood.

"Hey, life ain't fair, and they're learning that firsthand," a father said.

FBISD said every student will be able to walk even if they arrive out of order, though they encourage families to plan ahead.

Fort Bend ISD also seemed to pass the buck to the Rosenberg Police Department, which they said is in charge of traffic.

Rosengberg police sent ABC13 the following statement:

"Rosenberg Police Department Officers are working diligently to help alleviate traffic congestion resulting from the multiple graduation events this weekend. Unfortunately, some traffic congestion is highly likely to continue before and after each graduation. We had similar events last weekend for LCISD and didn't seem to experience any of these issues. The planning of how many attendees are allowed, the time scheduled between events, and the finite number of parking spaces are factors that contribute to the congestion; but are not within our control. We do encourage those who cannot find parking to utilize the overflow parking available at the Fort Bend County Fairgrounds. Any questions regarding the event planning, the number of attendees allowed, notification to parents of overflow parking, and the scheduled times of graduations should be referred to Fort Bend ISD."

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