Parents concerned about traffic congestion at Camp Dick school

August 12, 2004|LIZ MAPLES

LANCASTER - The new school year started last week for Garrard County students, and U.S. 27 in front of Camp Dick Robinson Elementary is already stopped up in the mornings and afternoons.

Parents' complaints prompted a discussion Tuesday at the Garrard County Board of Education meeting.

The busy two-lane highway will be widened by the state to four lanes, but the state doesn't anticipate it will be ready for drivers until 2009 or 2010.

Two designs are being considered: one to build the road behind the elementary school, and another to keep it in front.

"That road needs to go behind the school," said Superintendent Ray Woolsey. "Parents need to voice their concern (to the state.)"


Currently, there is a turning lane off of U.S. 27 and a 400-foot road that leads into the school, but when the school bell rings, cars are backed up on the highway.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet plans to hold a public meeting in the fall or early spring, said David Thacker, a spokesperson for the cabinet.

He has said that an environmental assessment from the Federal Highway Administration will help determine which path the road will take.

Construction isn't planned to begin before 2008.

In the meantime, school board members volleyed ideas about how to help the traffic situation. Woolsey said the best solution is for kids to ride the bus, but with the way that the routes are designed, it could take a student who lives five minutes away from school 35 minutes to get there.

Woolsey said that the board could buy more buses, but that is a costly alternative.

Board member Greg Crutchfield asked about hiring someone for traffic control. Woolsey said he'd looked into it, but it is illegal for anyone other than law enforcement to direct traffic on a public street.

He explained that if there were an accident, the school board could be subject to liability. Woolsey said he's asked police to help direct traffic at the school but was told the officers already are short-handed.

"It's always worse at the beginning (of school)," Woolsey said.

For more information on the widening project, visit

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