With a new school year kicking off on Sept. 6, returning students and parents will see an increased police presence at all township schools during the opening weeks.
The South Brunswick Police Department's "Operation Safe Schools" will once again return to the district placing officers at each school to help provide an added safety component. As the school year begins, officers will be on hand to monitor speeding, pedestrian crossings, and parking issues in the area around each school.
“Our focus is to ensure a smooth and safe return of the 9,100 students," said Chief Raymond Hayducka. “Officers will be stationed at each of the districts eleven schools at the start and end of the school day.”
In particular, are anticipated to cause some headaches as parents and students become acclimated.
The district worked with traffic engineers and the South Brunswick Police Department to address numerous concerns raised last school year. The new patterns present dramatic changes from the process last year, but district officials are hopeful the new plan will improve safety for students and parents.
At SBHS, three lanes of traffic were created in front of the main entrance. From the entrance on Stouts Lane, there will be two lanes of traffic headed west, with the lane closest to the school for dropping off students and a lane next to it for thru-traffic. Both lanes will merge as they approach the end of the lot and then exit on Ridge Road.
For those coming in from the Ridge Road entrance, drivers must go straight or turn left and head east into the existing parking lot in front of the entrance of the school, separated from the two new westbound lanes by the sidewalk. Coming out of that parking lot at the side closest to Stouts Lane will be right hand turn only.
There will now be one main crosswalk for students to use near the main entrance of the school to eliminate pedestrians crossing at various points. The sidewalk for the eastbound drop-off of students is now designated as a safe zone. The school has also eliminated curbside parking in front of the school.
In addition, speed bumps and traffic cones will also be employed to improve safety, as well as additional signage.
At Crossroads North, there are now two separate entrances for cars and buses during mornings and afternoons to prevent students from being dropped off and walking in the busing area. The plan is also expected to alleviate congestion issues from cars and buses using the same exit.
The former exit from the school on Georges Road closest to Pierre's Restaurant and Deli is now an entrance and exit for cars only. Students must now be dropped off at the rear of the school.
Cars will then cycle around the back and return to that entrance, which has been widened into three lanes to allow for both left and right hand turns out onto Georges Road.
The entrance to the school off of Georges Road furthest from Pierre's is now for buses only. After dropping off students, buses will loop around through the front parking lot, and back out on to Georges Road. Cars and buses will both enter and exit from the two separate locations. Speed bumps will also be placed at the rear of the school at the student drop-off location.
“Each year there is an adjustment period," Hayducka said. "There will be increased traffic and more pedestrians. Motorists will have to adjust to these changes.”
Follow Patch on Facebook.