Traffic Will Be Momentarily Stopped To Let Buses Turn Onto HWY 101
Darren Doyle, story and photo:
The Edmonson County Sheriff's Office is working with Edmonson County Schools to provide some aid to school buses during morning traffic by implementing some traffic stops beginning Monday, April 11, 2022.
The Sheriff's Office will be stopping traffic on KY HWY 101 at the junction of HWY 743 (Chalybeate School Road) in both directions for a brief period each morning while school is in session for the remainder of the year. The planned traffic stop comes as a result of clogged morning traffic near the intersection that combines morning commute, all school, and school bus traffic into one giant problem for buses. That problem being that buses coming from South Edmonson can't turn onto HWY 101 without delays that sometimes make kids late for class.
Lannie Deweese, Director of Transportation for Edmonson County Schools said he identified the problem and spoke with Sheriff Shane Doyle, who agreed to provide assistance.
"We have buses that are being delayed so long at the stop sign at 743, they can't pull out on 101 for 8 to 10 minutes," he said. "We're having one or two buses that are sometimes able to pull out but they're almost in Brownsville before the other buses have even moved."
Deweese said he personally rode with bus drivers to experience the delay himself.
"We had some drivers making us aware of the issue, so I went and rode with some myself," he said. "The bus I was on was probably 7 or 8 back in the line at the stop sign. I decided to time it and we sat there for 8 minutes before we could pull out. That's throwing us in a bind because the buses are arriving at the 5/6 Center right when class starts. Mr. Johnston (principal) is having to get the kids to grab their breakfasts out of the cafeteria and take it to class with them. That's when I reached out to the Sheriff's Office and Shane said they could provide some help."
Sheriff Shane Doyle said that as a result, deputies will be briefly stopping traffic on HWY 101 both northbound and southbound sometime between 7:20AM and 7:30AM each morning so that the buses can turn from HWY 743.
"We have 13 school buses that are trying to fight the morning traffic rush," Sheriff Doyle said. "It's one thing if a bus has to wait on several cars before they can turn, but when we have kids that are late to class without their breakfast, then our schools have to have some assistance."
Doyle said the delay would be minimal but that drivers may want to allow a few more minutes in their commute.
"We're probably looking at two to three minutes where we'll actually stop traffic. You're talking about the same time you'd experience with a long traffic light. We understand some might not be happy with a delay in the morning, but we need to do what's best for our kids on the road, so they can safely get to class on time."
Doyle said no changes will be made to the afternoon traffic, as Deweese explained that it's a different situation.
"We don't have the same rush in the afternoons because we're not in the middle of work traffic like it is in the mornings," Deweese said. "We made due for a while, but it's gotten to the point that we have to do something. And some mornings, we don't have much trouble, but other times it's terrible. Sometimes you see a good Samaritan let a bus pull out but you have traffic coming from both directions, plus a turning lane there on 101."
Sheriff Doyle said he apologizes for any inconvenience but the move is necessary.
"We appreciate everyone's patience for a couple minutes out of the morning and we ask for everyone's cooperation for a few minutes each morning."