As the school year started to wind down with just a couple of weeks left, a new traffic flow for parent pickup at Foster was implemented... and with the new plan in place, the new flow of traffic saw huge success.
Campus and City of Longview officials observed that the speed and safety during parent pick-up was increased, seeing parents and students get off campus much faster, and with reduced traffic congestion.
“The plan worked great. On the very first day of implementing the plan, we saw a dramatic increase in how quickly the students left the campus,” said Sgt. Jeremy Higginbotham, Traffic Division Supervisor for Longview Police Department. “We saw a dramatic decrease in how much traffic backed up on MLK and Birdsong. And if emergency personnel needed to respond to the campus, there was immediate and available access the whole time."
“We appreciate them being patient with us as we navigate new ideas and procedures to help keep their children safe and to help make the pick up more efficient for all persons involved,” he added.
The change to traffic comes after School Resource Officer Robert Brian noticed that traffic congestion seemed to get worse, not better. At times, the nearby fire station was even being blocked in by traffic. The breaking point came when the traffic backups started to create potentially dangerous situations for students walking home from school.
“The decision to adjust the traffic flow was based on several reasons,” Sgt. Higginbotham said. “The traffic flow at the front of the school was blocking the fire lane preventing emergency vehicles from accessing the school, and traffic was backing up onto MLK and Birdsong which was causing more problems.”
With the success seen at Foster, the next course of action is to improve the traffic flow at Hudson PEP this fall.
Hudson PEP next?
“The LPD is working with LISD again and evaluating the pickup procedures with Hudson PEP. Just like the Foster plan, there are obstacles to overcome and to work through which we are currently trying to do,” Sgt. Higginbotham said. “The main problem with Hudson PEP is working intelligently with the design of the parking layout and in dealing with younger students. Smaller children bring many new safety hazards which all have to be carefully thought through and considered when changing the traffic plan.”
Once more information is available about possible changes to Hudson PEP traffic, the Longview ISD will provide the information on the district social media pages as well as the district website.