The Quill

The Need for a School Zone

Kayla Boehler, Quill Editor

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Car accidents of all kinds are a major problem that has occurred and still does at the front of our school. Ever since the increase in accidents last school year, the school’s administration has been advocating for a school zone.

During the 2016-2017 school year, we had more accidents than usual due to jaywalking and increase in traffic from newly built neighborhoods around the school. “There were 2 or 3 last year; last year was bad. There may have been 1 or 2 previous to that. I think as the traffic in the area changes and grows, because we do have a new community being built right next to us, it’s just constantly developing here,” Dan Fuchs said.

Many people think it’s the schools job to add a school zone, but it’s the city that’s in charge. “I believe it’s the city planners (who are in charge); they basically do what’s called urbanization, they decide where the traffic lights go, they decide how the traffic lights are timed, they decide what the speed limits are and I think they are also the people who decide where the school zones go; they do many different things,” Fuchs said.

As a high school getting out during rush hour traffic, students are more at risk to the high speeds on the main road. The elementary schools and the middle school right next to us have school zones to keep them safe, which was a major question that was raised in this process. “What they said was that they’re doing a big study this year to look at it and see if their findings about traffic and traffic patterns around Cedar Ridge warrant it. There were people here asking questions as people came through the door and were watching how people come in and out of the school, and what those people were doing is they were monitoring how people enter and exit their property and the building,” Fuchs said. “That is part of figuring out whether or not it would be appropriate to build a school zone. They certainly know from Mrs.Thomas and the rest of the administrative team that we want a school zone. It’s a long drawn-up, complicated process.”

With a school zone, there will be a drastic change and effect on the number of accidents that occur every year in front of our school. “Well the hope would be if we had a crossing guard and all that good stuff that they have up there at Gattis, Blackland, and Ridgeview, that it would minimize if not completely do away with incidents,” Fuchs said.

As the school has been advocating for a school zone for years now, there’s a major question as to why we still haven’t gotten one yet after many incidents. “My understanding based on the meeting that Mrs.Thomas and I had earlier this year with a couple of city planners is that the process of creating a school zone is a really huge and complicated process,” Fuchs said. “I do remember that there were flashing lights by our main entrance a couple years back; I have no idea why they chose to take those away. It has something to do with how far apart stop lights are and how fast the traffic goes through the area.”

Many precautions can be taken to avoid these accidents simply by not jaywalking or going five under the speed limit when driving by the school. “I think you just really need to be cautious and a couple of the people that have been in incidents have been crossing at the wrong place, like jaywalking, so just even though it may feel inconvenient to walk up to the cross-walk, to be safe you just really have to take that extra time to go to the stop light and wait,” Fuchs said.

For the new school year of 2018-2019, the city will be adding a school zone on Meister Lane as well as a crossing guard before and after school. The city is still doing tests to see if they will add another school zone on Gattis School Road.

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The Need for a School Zone