Traffic flow issues at new school

Traffic flow issues at new school
The new school in Clintonville is experiencing traffic flow problems. Rendering courtesy of Clintonville Public School District

Clintonville School Board considers solutions

By Bert Lehman

Now that the Clintonville Middle School is part of the same building as the high school, the district is working through traffic flow issues that are causing back-ups in the student drop-off and pick-up areas.

Superintendent Troy Kuhn updated the Clintonville School Board at its Sept. 12 meeting about the traffic flow issues, as well as some possible solutions. He also solicited solution ideas from members of the board.

Kuhn said that one of the priorities when the referendum project was started three years ago was traffic flow and safety, specifically keeping the buses separated from the area where parents pick up their kids.

“When we designed the middle school, high school and the elementary, we designed it so buses would always be on one side building and student pick-up would be on the other side of the building, so students would never have to walk between buses ,” Kuhn said. “That was the main thing. However, we always knew that Greentree (Road) was going to be one of those areas that is always going to be a problem.”

In the past, Kuhn said the district had proposed different options to Waupaca County regarding Greentree Road, including making it a dead end road. None of those options were approved.

Kuhn acknowledged that there was a problem the first day of school this year, with cars backed up onto Greentree Road all the way down to State Highway 22.

“When we debriefed the first day, we obviously said that can’t happen,” Kuhn said.

The second day of school, Kuhn said school resource officer Tyler Bartel had parents pull into various parts of the student parking lot to pick up their children. Also, the entire pick-up lane was moved down to the Rec Center.

“It worked better,” Kuhn said. “I’m not saying it’s perfect. There was a little bit of congestion.”

He said one problem is students needing to cross the pick-up lanes to get to the student parking lot. The back-ups occurred when the pick-up lanes were halted to allow students to cross to the student parking lots.

Kuhn said he has received suggestions on how to make picking up students better, such as making the pick-up lanes one-way traffic, not letting students out in certain areas, or having parents park along the football field.

“Those are the types of things, if we’re going to change something up, we need to have people in certain locations,” Kuhn said.

He added that in the future those positioned in the parking lot will be able to use a radio to communicate directly with the buses.

Open to suggestions

“We’re all open to suggestions if you guys have any ideas of what we can do,” Kuhn said. “Just remember, I want people in safety vests with walkie-talkies, etc. The last thing I want is a bus accident or a kid hit by a car. And worst of all would be one of our kids being hit by a bus.”

Board member Glen Drew-Lundt said he has seen the congestion in person, both in the morning and in the afternoon.

“I’ll tell you I’m shocked nobody’s gotten run over yet,” Lundt said. “And I say that in a very good, positive way. The problem is there is always more than one direction.”

Kuhn said he has received comments from parents who suggested building more parking lots in green spaces if the district has extra money.

“I just want everyone to be aware of, all the green space here is for athletic fields,” Kuhn said. “We are really short on athletic space, especially now that we added middle school soccer. We are really short on athletic fields. And to do anything behind the school, that was not part of the referendum. That would be coming out of Fund 10. The athletic field part of the referendum did not pass. That’s another thing I want you guys to understand.”

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