School entrance a safety issue

I am a member of the group who spoke out at the school board meeting in 2010 against the one-lane road for the new high school emptying onto Pioneer Road. We stated our facts to the school board, they listened, agreed with us and closed the road for a much safer option in place now.

We were the group that suggested the idea to have the two-lane entrance and exit off Mary Street. The police department liked the idea of the one entrance opposed to two entrances in case the school ever had to be locked down. These were the suggestions we presented to steer students to a controlled access onto the bypass and away from neighborhood streets.

This topic is up for discussion again. Our group of concerned citizens will again attend the board meeting when a second entrance is addressed to restate our concerns. For those of you that didn't come before, and don't plan to this time, I hope I can set the facts straight on why we are opposed to the Pioneer exit.

Our concerns have always been about the children's safety. In the beginning, the plan was to have a one-lane entrance and exit from the new high school that emptied out from Pioneer onto Campus Drive. Imagine if a high school student driver, still very inexperienced in driving, were to take the Pioneer exit and turn north onto Campus heading toward the bypass, they would be faced with heavy 3 p.m. traffic from the Tyson shift change. A semi-truck traveling at 55 to 60 mph appears slower than it is actually traveling; and a semi-truck hitting a car would likely be fatal. The traffic situation would repeat itself in the morning. Most students would not use the on and off ramps from the bypass as they should, instead they will continue on around the bypass to the north, stop on the bypass and turn against oncoming traffic. If I were a parent of a high school student driving to school from Southwind, Sagebrush, Wilson Addition or any part of town where the bypass may be used, I would be very concerned.

Another fear our group has is that there are two other schools in the area, Florence Wilson and Kenneth Henderson. Many children walk to and from school. If a high school student driver decides to use the neighborhood streets in the area, what risk is this to young children? Windy View Drive and Pioneer are both long streets, and it's easy to carry a great amount of speed. If I were a parent of a child that goes to Florence Wilson or Kenneth Henderson I would be concerned. Is an extra five or 10 minutes saved clearing a parking lot worth the safety of our children?

Don't wait until it's all said and done to voice an opinion. Let's be proactive and not have the death of an innocent child be motivation for change. If you have an idea or opinion, whether you agree with us or not, come to the board meeting and help be a part of the solution.


Garden City