Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Lower speed limits and extended school zone time for Meridian elementary school
Meridian – Mary McPherson Elementary School will see lower speed limits and an even longer school zone time, thanks to the help of some concerned officials.
ACHD Commissioner Mitch Jaurena initiated changes after noticing an increase in traffic during school drop-off/pick-up times. Together with Principal Khristie Bair, Ada County Sheriff Sgt. Craig Durrell, and the executive director of the Idaho Pedestrian and Bicycle Alliance, Cynthia Gibson, the speed limit along Amity Road before and after the school zone has been lowered from 50 mph to 45 mph, and an additional 5 minutes have been added to the school zone flashing beacons(the blinking lights that help alert motorists that they are in a school zone.)The speed limit in the school zone is still 20 mph.
"We’ve had some concerns for traffic safety as our school has grown in the last few years," said Bair. "Our school has grown from 380 students to 540 students in the last few years, and with that comes increased parent traffic. We’ve also got some new housing around the school, which means more kids are walking to school."
Commissioner Jaurena says, this situation is not unique to Mary McPherson Elementary. He and ACHD Commissioner Rebecca Arnold recently met with Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd to discuss issues and improvements that could be made throughout the Meridian School District.
"It always helps to get all concerned parties together to come to a solution,"Commissioner Jaurena said, "but this is just the first step in a series. Many of these rural schools in south Ada County are starting to be overrun by development, and Safe Routes to School is a priority of mine. The recent influx of traffic avoiding the construction on I-84 really put my concerns over the top at this particular school."
Jaurena says more discussions will be had as local leaders continue to improve the safety of the children walking to school.