Two area school districts are implementing plans to ensure traffic flow off and on campuses will go more smoothly for drivers this school year.
Bullard hopes to divert “as much traffic as possible off School House Road,” according to the district.
The middle school entrance will be open for traffic Monday morning, when school starts; however, the new traffic circle and parking lot will remain blocked off, the BISD website stated, adding that the road from the middle school to the intermediate school via the softball field will remain blocked until contractors can lay asphalt next week.
Drivers can access the intermediate school campus by either FM 344 or School House Road, it noted.
According to a BISD release, the first goal is to first complete the entrance from FM 344 onto the middle school campus followed by completion of a loop at the intermediate school, then a cut-through between the baseball and softball field, connecting to Panther Crossing. Finally, a turn lane on Panther Crossing feeding into the entrance of the elementary campus will wrap up work.
The release also the traffic flow will most affect areas around the intermediate and middle school campuses.
“The road between the intermediate school and the softball field will no longer be a two-way road. It will be used as a one-way exit to School House Road. Buses will use this access road to load/unload students at the intermediate campus,” the release stated.
According to www.bullardisd.net, at the middle school, all drop-off traffic will enter the campus via FM 344, turning onto the new loop to drop off students. Motorists can exit left onto FM 344 or right, and connect to School House Road. The traffic at the middle school is two-way to and from FM 344. To pick up students, parents will enter the new traffic circle on the middle school campus, then exit to FM 344 or School House Road.
At the intermediate school campus, traffic enters via FM 344. Motors will turn left on the road to the campus, and drop off students at the front circle, then exit back onto FM 344. The road will remain a one-way street until the road project is complete, and students can only be dropped off at the front circle until then, according to the site.
Also, beginning this year, “parents will not be able to let students out on the south side of the Intermediate School. Until the Intermediate School loop is complete, the only place students can be dropped off is on the front circle, the site stated.
To pick up students from the intermediate school, motorists will turn onto the campus using the one-way street, “forming two lines that will continue around the intermediate school traffic circle. Students will be loaded into vehicles in two lanes just as they are at the Elementary School. They will exit on the one-way to FM 344,” according to the site.
In Troup, the district gave the first step of a traffic plan an early start when officials implemented a more efficient route over the Christmas break that navigated buses onto campus to load and unload students in front of the high school.
Buoyed by that success, in May school board trustees voted to kick off a project to upgrade the driveway on that campus.
TISD Director of Support Services Dewayne Brown said the multi-faceted project called for a wider, straighter driveway, a canopy for the front entry of the high school and added parking spaces and upgraded drainage on the lot.
The “trial run” launched in December helped to alleviate congestion at the middle school while allowing smoother traffic flow out of the student parking lot, Brown said.
Before then, problems were created by a glom of bus and passenger vehicle traffic, he said.
The new concrete driveway will be located in roughly the same area, while the canopy will extend over the main entry of the high school. Additional parking will be added to the faculty lot, and when completed, will hold about 120 vehicles, and an asphalt bus path will be replaced with concrete.