The new Sims Middle School opened Monday. It is located on Highway 176 east, just beyond the South Hills subdivision.
The school is a “showplace” and everyone in Union County should be proud to be a part of its existence!
My concern is that very little if any thought has been given to the amount of normal traffic that flows during the peak hours of school attendance and dismissal. Has anyone considered the amount of normal traffic, going to and from work? Now, with the activity of the school the congestion will only be compounded ten-fold.
Where are the flashing lights? Where are the signs coming from Whitmire at a speed of 55 mph or more to forewarn one that there is a school just around the curve. There is a sign posted to reduce speed to 45 mph, but what about the 18-wheelers coming from Whitmire on 176? Are they supposed to know that a school is nearby? Don’t think so, and doubt very seriously that the trucks will be able to slow down to 45 mph. Most of them let off the gas when they pass the sign and by that time ...?
There is only one sign indicating that there is even a school in the vicinity. It is located about 200 feet before you reach school property and it is coming from Union. Most of the parents bringing their children to school will know where they are going and what to expect! Has anyone considered the amount of traffic that has been generated since new industries have come to Union? If you think I am joshing, go over there and check it out between 7 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. Count the number of 18-wheelers that go by. You will be amazed! Also, pay attention to the speed of their truck and you decide if it is a safe situation.
In my opinion, provisions should have been made months ago to forewarn motorists that there is a new school zone going into effect. I feel that a number of signs, along with a flashing light, should be installed at least 200 yards or more before reaching the school zone coming from Whitmire. And 45 mph is too fast in a congested area! What has happened to the 25 mph in congested areas? And, by the same token, a flashing light should also be posted on the Union side 200 yards before reaching the congested area!
On Arthur Boulevard, there is Foster Park School, which has lights and signs. When you go into the city, there is a yellow flashing light, along with an officer, to assist in traffic congestion. And Excelsior School is one block off the main road. Other schools in the area have the lights and signs (something is wrong here).
I have resided in South Hills since 1966 and you can rest assured that the highway is a race track! Very few motorists pay attention to the 45 mph speed limit, much less the double yellow line. Cars turning into residences are passed at high rates of speed, with no concern for oncoming traffic.
My question is: What is going to be done to safeguard the children (your children) going to and from school?
Or is it going to be one of those situations that when it happens, appropriate action will then be taken to correct the problem?