Last updated: March 16. 2013 6:24PM - 330 Views
By JON O??CONNELL, Times Leader correspondent

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WRIGHT TWP. -- Many people say there's an accident waiting to happen during the few minutes of heavy traffic in front of Crestwood High School each morning.

Marc Johnson, a school bus driver who used to drive for Crestwood, said at Thursday's school board meeting that morning traffic on South Mountain Boulevard, Route 309, is unprecedented.

I've been to 14 or 15 school districts, Johnson said. You're the only one who has this (problem).

Stopped drivers waiting for students to unload jam up traffic for about an eighth mile in each direction. Add hurried morning commuter traffic to the mix and many believe it is not a question of if, but when, someone will be hurt.

District Superintendent Dave McLaughlin-Smith said this congestion problem began years ago and grew steadily.

Though the traffic jam lasts less than 20 minutes, board members are concerned enough that they authorized McLaughlin-Smith to approach state representatives to help find a solution.

School Board President Eric Aigeldinger said they will be collecting a week's worth of video footage so PennDOT may analyze traffic patterns and possibly come up with solutions to the congestion.

For now, Wright Township police officers direct traffic when school lets out to ease the afternoon traffic flow. Aideldinger said every day the board and administrators look for a quick solution.

Aigeldinger said heavy traffic plagues all the district's school buildings.

He said back when the buildings were constructed, almost every student rode the bus. But times have changed and parents want to see their children safely to school and the district's parking lots were not designed to handle that.

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