Traffic patterns will change at one Clark County school to ease congestion and improve safety as many districts go back to classes across the region today.
Shawnee High School will now also house seventh and eighth grades. Both the high school and middle school now have designated drop-off and pick-up locations at the campus, 1675 E. Possum Road.
The Clark-Shawnee Local School District partnered with the Clark County/Springfield Transportation Committee this past spring on a traffic study. Its recommendation was to change the flow of traffic because of the increased volume of parents and students.
“Try and decrease the volume heading to the back of the school,” said Steve Tincher, Shawnee assistant athletic director.
That would also help traffic at the nearby busy intersection at Selma and East Possum roads.
“Morning traffic, sometimes we get a little backed up on the intersection of Selma and Possum when we have a lot of parents dropping off,” Tincher said.
The school has three vehicle entrances.
“It made more sense to put the 16 buses toward the back of the school where we have less room and we are going to have a lot more cars and use the large area out front with the drive, that we have for parent drop off,” Tincher said.
Students will continue to park on the west side of the building.
“Hopefully it’s going to help with the flow and also handle the volume of traffic we are going to have,” Tincher said.
The district also had made changes to the arrival and dismissal traffic patterns at Reid School on Ohio 41.
Hyacinth Anderson lives a couple hundred feet from the school. She’s lived on Selma Road for the past 29 years.
“There is a lot of traffic, it’s heavy,” Anderson said. “Makes it difficult to get out on Selma Road.”
She now has a system on how to beat the school crowd rush. She leaves five minutes after 7 a.m. if she must go somewhere.
The Clark County homeowner is happy more changes are being made to the area. She says recently the speed limit was dropped to 45 miles per hour. That’s in addition to flashing lights installed at the nearby Selma and Possum intersection and rumble strips.
Anderson is glad the district has made more changes.
“Anything they can do to lessen traffic will always be appreciated,” Anderson said.
However, she does believe that East Possum and Selma Road will still have traffic especially with a $37 million school bond that just passed. The district will use that, along with $15 million from the state of Ohio, to construct a new elementary school across from the high school.
It will take about three to four years for the renovations at the high school and for the new buildings to be complete. The next step for the district is to meet with the state to discuss how it will use the money.