A traffic flow primer for a calm, safe school year

August is here, which means school officials like you are preparing for all the usual challenges of launching a new academic year. Traffic flow
and student safety doesn’t have to be one of them. J.M. Teague Engineering and Planning (JMTE) is a multi-faceted company that
specializes in transportation and traffic projects for schools, local governments, developers and other businesses. We have a long history
of collaborating with NCDOT to help schools analyze and improve traffic flow and safety for students, parents and everyone else on your
campus and we’d love to help you in 2018-19. To get started, review the questions below, then contact us at 828.456.8383 or
admin@jmteagueengineering.com for a consultation. Let’s make this school year the safest and calmest yet!

How many students is your current traffic flow pattern designed to accommodate? Is it adequate for your anticipated enrollment this year?

Student populations rise and fall, bringing annual changes to the number of vehicles your
campus can handle without spilling out onto adjacent roadways and causing non-school
traffic to back up. Frustrated parents may sometimes try and circumvent the process and
unload or pick up their students on the shoulder of a road adjacent to the through traffic.
Darting out into traffic is the highest cause of a vehicle-related fatality in school zones,
especially for young children. Let JMTE help you develop a School Traffic Control Plan
to prevent problems like this.

Have traffic patterns changed from the original design/operation when your school first opened and no longer address the current flow?

As time goes by, problems can arise with traffic flow that weren’t necessarily addressed in
the original plans. In addition to higher than expected traffic volume, problems with the
design of the parking lot or other campus areas can lead to an inefficient loading and
unloading process. That, in turn, can jeopardize the safety of students and parents. JMTE can
evaluate current patterns and make recommendations on everything from student loading,
queue length to parking and student/pedestrian safety.

Is your campus appropriately marked with enough signs to help drivers understand where to go and what to do?

JMTE can inventory your on campus signs, as well as the surrounding school zone for
compliance with the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways
(MUTCD), which addresses such issues as school zone identification, speed limits, parking
restrictions and more. In situations where there may need to be off-campus improvements
that would enhance student, pedestrian and traffic safety, JMTE can serve as a liaison with
local officials to develop a plan for making needed changes.

Has your staff received appropriate training to help them respond to all types of traffic flow and safety concerns?

We understand each element of the school environment and can provide customized onsite
training through the JMTE Academy for all staff members involved in morning and afternoon
traffic assistance, so that everyone feels prepared to respond to any traffic flow situation
they face during the school day.

Mark Blanton

Mark Blanton
Work Zone Safety Instructor