Thorsby trying to deal with school traffic problems

Published 8:10 pm Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Thorsby High School’s student population is as big as it’s ever been with more than 800 students. A freeze has been placed on enrollment because the school is overpopulated.

That has created a long line of traffic that causes Concordia Road, which is also County Road 50, to be backed up with sitting cars on the road. The reason for that is because there are more parents and guardians coming to pick up their children at the school.

“There’s just no easy answer,” Prady said.

Not only does the traffic issue cause problems on Concordia Road, but it could also cause trouble during an emergency.

“If we ever have an emergency, it would be almost impossible for a fire truck, rescue vehicle or a police car to get to the school,” Prady said. “When we’ve had an emergencies in the past, I’ve parked my car by the road and walked up to the school.”

Prady said they have tried reversing the flow of traffic through the car pick-up lanes at the school, and school board officials have been asked to the review the situation at the school.

They have even tried to look at other areas for pick-up at the school, but no solutions appear to be working. Right now, police officers are asking drivers who are blocking the road to drive around and come back to the entrance.

“But parents don’t like that because they lose their place in line, and by the time they come back, there’s someone else to take their place,” Prady said.

The only two solutions that could correct the problem are to construct a new parking lot or to build a new school.

For the first option, a portion of the school’s playground could be paved for a teacher’s parking lot. Then the current parking area in front of the school could be converted into car lanes.

“If you do that, it would only be putting a Band-Aid on the overall problem,” Prady said. “The school wasn’t meant to hold that many students.”

Until the problem can be resolved, Prady is asking for everyone to have patience.