School traffic updates and reminders
The first day of the new school year will be Thursday for students and faculty in the Russellville City School System, and one thing that usually means is congested traffic in and around the schools for the next few mornings.
Russellville Police Chief Chris Hargett said his department would be on hand to help with any traffic issues as needed.
“Traffic is usually a problem the first few days of the new year since all four schools are located in close proximity to one another,” Hargett said.
“And those first few days, there are usually more parents out than at other times during the year because everyone wants to be able to carry their child to school on that first day.”
Hargett said anyone traveling to the RCS campus, tomorrow and Friday especially, should plan to leave several minutes earlier than they normally would and they should be aware of speed limits and other traffic signs, such as stop signs and the yield signs near WES and RES.
“The speed limit is 20 around the schools, so motorists should pay close attention to their speed and also be watchful of pedestrians,” he said.
“With the schools all being close together, there are several crosswalks where students will be walking from one school to another or from the field house back to the high school, so motorists should be watchful of people crossing the street.”
Russellville councilman David Palmer said there is also some roadwork funded by the city that was completed on Summit Street recently that motorists should be aware of with the start of the new year.
“I realize people have been away from school for several weeks, so they may not realize that there has been some work done in that area to make it safer for the children crossing the road from the middle school to the high school campus,” Palmer said.
“The road has been widened to three lanes from Waterloo Road to Allen Avenue so there is now a dedicated turn lane going into the middle school.
“They also added three speed bumps and a raised crosswalk across the road near the fine arts building.”
Palmer said a HAWK signal system will also be installed in the coming weeks near the crosswalk to further enhance safety.
“The main thing is people should just be watchful and aware of their surroundings as we make the transition of starting back to school and getting back in the swing of things,” Hargett said.