The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Montour County

August 19, 2013

Heavy traffic leads district to drop students off behind middle school

DANVILLE — A brainstorming session which included representatives from the school district and borough yielded several possibilities for mitigating traffic around Danville Middle School.

Unless the district hears otherwise from the borough, they plan to drop several bus loads of students off behind the school in a supervised area, said Allan Schappert, president of the Danville school board.

The traffic problems are due to repairs to Route 54 and the borough’s flood prevention project located along nearby Mahoning Creek.

Just moving bus drop-off to the back of the school won’t be enough to mitigate the traffic problem, said Schappert, who emphasized that he was only speaking on behalf of the district. The meeting, held the morning of Aug. 19, was meant to be a brainstorming session, with a formal declaration and press release to come later in the week.

“Our purpose was to get everyone around the table so we could make sure we had, first of all, the safest environment possible for students,” said Dan Knorr, the borough’s representative to the school district.

The borough and school district will release further details about traffic control, bus drop-offs and detours when the press release is issued later this week, Knorr said.

The opening of the school will further exacerbate congestion caused by people going to work, coming to school and freight deliveries occurring along the state roads, Schappert said.

“There are too many vehicles and not enough space to put them,” he said. “That’s certainly a choke point.”

The district is encouraging parents to have their children take busses to school instead of putting their private vehicles on the road, Schappert said.

“The good news is the detours are supposed to be unnecessary after Oct. 30, although the project will continue into late fall,” Schappert said of the state route repairs.

Also present at the meeting were representatives from the Danville police force, Larson Design Group and the Department of Environmental Protection.

Other possibilities discussed included increasing traffic enforcement in the area and improved signage and road markings.

“We need to come together to try and lessen the impact. That’s about all we can hope for,” Schappert said.


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