A Kokomo, Ind., elementary school plans to spend $1.5 million this summer to improve traffic patterns that officials say will keep students safer at dismissal time.
Dave Barnes, director of communications at Kokomo-Center Schools, said contractors will create a new traffic flow pattern at Boulevard Elementary to keep buses and cars from mixing.
Students are instructed about safe places to walk and in protocols for crossing the parking lot, but some children and parents don’t obey those rules, said Mike Wade, the district’s director of operations. Bus drivers have long worried that a child would be hit while darting between buses to get to a parent’s car, the Kokomo Tribune reported.
More than 125 students are taken to school by parents on any given day, Barnes said.
The construction will create a new entrance and add 53 parking spots. Parents will park away from the school buses. New sidewalks also will be installed, reducing the need for children to walk between cars in the parking lots.
“With this project, I never have to leave the sidewalk to get to my mom’s car,” Barnes said. “And I feel a whole lot safer as a parent.”
He said the project also will reduce congestion in nearby neighborhoods at dismissal time.
Wade said work is expected to begin before school lets out and wrap up before classes resume in August.
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