The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Local News

February 13, 2013

DOT, SCS report safer traffic situations

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 — The traffic pattern at West Stanly High School (WSHS), located off N.C. 24-27, was rearranged in early 2012, but was it a change for the better?

“From the DOT standpoint, absolutely. Traffic has improved,” said Paite Butler of North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) for Stanly County.

“DOT’s initial reasons in going out there was the school board asked us to help with the traffic pattern. Traffic was backed up to the road. People who came to pick up their kids would be out in the road.”

According to Butler, NCDOT came up with an initial pattern augmentation, but WSHS needed to tweak it a bit before they accepted it.

“The school built facilities, a sidewalk and canopy for the rear of the school where loading and unloading is,” Butler said.

“Traffic does not back out onto 24-27. The school can hold all traffic generated internally.

“It used to be a mass exit. Now it is a uniform line, controlled by the traffic signal. Everyone is under control in organized, uniform lines. It is much safer from a crash standpoint. Now they know where everybody is going.

“We definitely think it was a major improvement,” Butler said.

West Stanly Principal Kim Page commented on the traffic situation in an email correspondence.

“When the new pattern began in January 2012, several safeguards were put into place. Crosswalks, signage and speedbumps were added to assist both pedestrians and automobiles. School staff continued monitoring and directing traffic as had been done with the previous pattern. This staff group met regularly to review problems and issues that did come up with the new routing,” she wrote.

“As problems were presented and possible solutions were provided, school administration met with NCDOT to correct the problems. An example of this was the removal of some of the speed bumps that had been put into pattern that we discovered slowed the internal traffic too much.

“So far we have noticed that the traffic now does not back up on the main highway like it did before the change.

“Traffic may have to wait some on 24-27, but it does not come to a complete stop for the length of time it did before the change. With the change in flow, the external issues once caused by the traffic at WSHS have now been reduced.

“NCDOT, Stanly County Schools and West Stanly High School staff have all worked together to make this project possible. I realize this solution is not perfect, and we will continue to monitor it for the safety of our students and those on the highway. It is a part of the continuous improvement we all strive for in education.”

WSHS wasn’t the only school in the area to have the traffic patterns redrawn at that time.

“We did West Stanly Middle School (WSMS) at the same time to coordinate the buses. The problem is there are buses shared between the middle school and the high school,” Butler said.

The traffic patterns had to be fixed at the same time because the schools share buses.

“We created stacking lanes that mimic what they have at North Stanly Middle School. With stacking lanes, WSMS can still maintain its traffic.”

It’s a lot safer of a situation with parents sitting in the parking lot rather than in the roadway, maintains Butler.

“They don’t have to back out into traffic, now,” Butler said.

In a different part of the county, in the not too distant past, another major highway was augmented for school purposes.

Stoplights were installed along U.S. 52 in front of North Stanly High School (NSHS) to aid with congestion caused by morning arrivals and afternoon departures.

“We’ve been very pleased with the NSHS lights,” said Art Whittacker, transportation director for Stanly County Schools.

 “They’ve helped with moving buses in and out at Austin Road. They couldn’t use Austin and now they can. They’ve been able to utilize roads that they couldn’t have before.

“They couldn’t pull out and shoot across [52] because of Austin, but with the lights controlled on 52 it has helped them to use this and be more efficient on the bus routes.”

Whittacker summed up by saying the lights have cut down on traffic accidents in the area and helped with the flow of buses.


Text Only
Local News
  • Janice Abernathy Stanly residents share memories of Mickey Rooney

    Mickey Rooney is remembered for his numerous film roles, including his immense popularity as a child actor and the Andy Hardy series.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Democrats rally platform at county convention

    There were as many no-shows as candidates vying for office at Saturday’s Democratic convention and breakfast at Stanly Regional Medical Center’s Magnolia Room.

    April 10, 2014

  • Candidates: Stanly must change EDC strategies

    Changes with how Stanly County pursues economic development and ethical standards in the Sheriff’s Office were a frequent theme at Thursday night’s Republican forum.

    April 10, 2014

  • Town increases sewer tap fee by $800, ups other fees

    The town of New London no longer has to worry about lagging behind the other areas of Stanly County when it comes to sewer fees and the costs to reconnect water and sewer. And the best part is, neither will its current residents and businesses.

    April 4, 2014

  • EDC plots main focus

    At a strategic development meeting Monday night, the Stanly County Economic Development Commission board told staff they would like to see a focus on bringing high-wage jobs into the county over the next few years.

    April 4, 2014

  • SRMC Picture Carolinas HealthCare unveils plans, changes for Stanly Regional

    Carolinas HealthCare System announced that expansions and changes will accompany Stanly Health Services’ integration into its system.

    April 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • Angie Gallimore Bonanza packs Mkt. Station

    The rain didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits at Saturday’s Outdoorsman’s Bonanza.

    April 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • New Patrol Car Grant helps APD boost ranks, fleet

    The Albemarle Police Department has a new traffic officer and unmarked SUV patrolling the streets.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Coffey Anderson Speaker offers youth advice

    Coffee and a Pop Tart is one way to wake up.
    Coffey Anderson and some pop music is another.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mitchel T. Morton Service tributes Vietnam veteran

    A collage of faded photographs, two letters — one returned unopened and another stamped, but not mailed, and a yellowed newspaper clipping of an obituary kept in a plastic bag are among mementos that remain behind.

    March 26, 2014 2 Photos

House Ads
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide