Dr. Traffic

Roads will be busier starting Monday

School bus driver Lloyd Murphy demonstrates a new hand sign that bus drivers will use with students to help them safely cross the street to board buses/
School bus driver Lloyd Murphy demonstrates a new hand sign that bus drivers will use with students to help them safely cross the street to board buses/ dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

Summer is over. School starts Monday in Charlotte, so make plans to leave home earlier for your commute.

If you’re not convinced, think of it this way: That’s 1,022 buses on the roads and as many as 125,000 students getting on those buses. Also on the road will be teachers, assistants and a host of other people who have a role in serving the district’s 147,000 students.

Every day over 3,000 cars don’t stop for the school bus when it has the flashing red lights and the stop sign out.

Derek Graham, from the state’s Department of Public Instruction in Raleigh

Buses will be rolling as early as 5 a.m. for some schools and locations and as late as 6 p.m.

Cars need to stop for school buses, but that doesn’t always happen.

“Every day over 3,000 cars don’t stop for the school bus when it has the flashing red lights and the stop sign out,” said Derek Graham, from the state’s Department of Public Instruction in Raleigh.

So brush up on North Carolina’s school bus stop law. It says all traffic must stop in both directions when a school bus stops for passengers on a two-lane road or a two-lane road with a center turn lane. The rules apply differently on other types of roads. See examples at www.ncbussafety.org.

While CMS tries to keep routes and stops intact, road projects and other things often create the need for detours, said Carol Stamper, CMS chief operations officer. Here are a few projects that will or could cause route changes:

▪ North Davidson and 36th streets are closed for construction of the Blue Line light-rail extension.

▪ Eastway bridge is closed for the same project, so part of Eastway Drive is blocked between The Plaza and North Tryon Street.

▪ The bridge is scheduled to reopen in early September. A portion of Sugar Creek Road will close in the same area after the bridge reopens, although the Department of Transportation has not released specific dates. Sugar Creek Road will be closed from Greensboro to Redwood streets as improvements are made to the railroad corridor in that area. Eastway will become a detour for Sugar Creek once the bridge opens.

▪ Old Concord Road is closed from Branch Hill Circle to Farmfield Lane for work on a grade separation and highway improvement project by the N.C. Department of Transportation.

▪ A “superstreet” project at N.C. 51 and Matthews-Mint Hill Road will affect Butler High School after-school traffic through mid-October. When completed, the improvements will make Swaim and Brandywine drives right-out only and require motorists wanting to turn left on N.C. 51 from those roads to travel a short way down N.C. 51 to make a U-turn.

Karen Sullivan: 704-358-5532, @Sullivan_kms

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