Elementary school traffic to change during construction

Staff reporter

Construction plans at Hillsboro Elementary School necessitated a change in traffic flow.

Hillsboro Police Chief Dan Kinning presented solutions at the Feb. 6 Hillsboro City Council meeting that included a stop sign at First and Wilson streets and limiting alley traffic to northbound only.

The issue came to light when HES Principal Evan Yoder contacted Kinning about the anticipated changes.

When construction begins, the front doors of the school, on the south side, will be closed, causing students and personnel to enter and exit from the west doors. This will change the flow of traffic from the front of the school to the alley, located on the west side of the school.

Yoder also told Kinning that as many as 30 construction vehicles will be parked on A Street, adding further congestion.

Kinning and city street superintendent Dale Dalke viewed the area and concluded that the alley is not sufficient for two-way traffic and pedestrians, a fence and pole at the south end of the alley creates a visibility problem, and southbound drivers on the alley have to cross a sidewalk at A Street before they can see eastbound pedestrians.

The council agreed that the alley should be limited to access going north.

With that change in alley traffic, traffic then will exit onto First Street, just east of Wilson. First is a dead-end street at the alley, so all traffic will be directed west on First Street. Drivers are not used to a large volume of traffic at the intersection of First and Wilson streets, Kinning said, and currently there is no stop sign. He suggested a stop sign be erected at that corner.

The council decided to go one step further and erect three stop signs at that intersection.

The last time it was discussed by school personnel, the circle drive at the school will not be closed. However, there would be sufficient space for buses to access it if necessary.