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Mon, Jul 14, 2014

Rockvale school traffic congestion causes concern

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Rockvale school traffic congestion causes concern | Rockvale, Traffic, Education, Rockvale Middle, Tiffany Phillips, Robert Arnold, Public Safety, County Commission, Rutherford County, RCSO

A crossing guard directs traffic Nov. 26, 2013, on Highway 99 as parents pick up their children from Rockvale Elementary School in Rockvale, located about 15 minutes from Murfreesboro in Rutherford County, Tenn. (TMP Photo/M. Kemph)

ROCKVALE, Tenn. -- Officials with the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office are expected to make recommendations this month to commissioners regarding the best possible ways to address traffic congestion near Rockvale schools.

Traffic-related issues along the strip of Highway 99 near Rockvale Middle School and Rockvale Elementary School have becoming increasingly worse in recent years and are creating possible safety hazards for students and area residents, according to some Rutherford County officials.

Coupled with the fast-growing population that has largely been fueled by new residential developments, such as Rockvale Meadows, and the fact that both schools were built within earshot of each other, Commissioner Tiffany Phillips is among a growing number of residents concerned about safety in the area.

“We, as a county, created this problem because we put two schools right next to each other on a major highway,” Phillips said in November during a Rutherford County Public Safety Committee meeting.

As such, she has asked Sheriff Robert Arnold to present recommendations for possible remedies to the problem during the Public Safety Committee meeting scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 16, at the Rutherford County Courthouse in downtown Murfreesboro.

“We need to try to alleviate it as much as possible during those peak times,” she said, referring to when students are being transported to and from school, especially between the hours of 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. when other residents are also trying to commute to work.

“Ever since Rockvale Middle School opened, traffic has gotten much worse,” Phillips said, adding she was “appalled” by what she learned about the issues related to school traffic congestion while speaking with constituents.

In particular, the Clearidge Drive intersection near Dollar General, which is within a few hundred yards of the middle school, has caused several constituents to grow more concerned because there is no turn lane. This has resulted in drivers pulling onto the shoulder of the road to go around people trying to turn into that subdivision, Phillips said.

Take into account the school traffic congestion, some of which is likely related to people heading toward Clearidge Drive, as well, and “we have a recipe for disaster,” she said.

Although staggering school times or adding another crossing guard has been suggested as possible remedies, Phillips said she would like to receive more input from those affected by the traffic congestion and study the recommendations before submitting anything to the Rutherford County Commission for formal consideration.

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County Commission, Education, Public Safety, RCSO, Robert Arnold, Rockvale, Rockvale Middle, Rutherford County, Tiffany Phillips, Traffic
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Members Opinions:
December 05, 2013 at 6:36pm
It is terrible. I have to go through it every morning and afternoon on my way to Eagleville. I think the area is simply to small to carry the traffic through in a timely manner. There needs to be a different entrance/exit for the middle school that diverts traffic from the same stretch of the highway as the elementary school. The traffic guards must stay really stressed with it because the man on the end and the woman directly between the middle and elementary schools are some of the most hateful I've ever run across.
December 05, 2013 at 11:17pm
Even though this area is not directly located in the city of Murfreesboro, it should be an important concern for those living near this area. When traffic involves several hundreds of students, that is a big deal. Not only for the safety of children, but for their well being too. Children need to be able to get to school on time so they will not miss out on any of their education. Dealing with this traffic in the mornings is an issue along with the afternoons. When these children get out of school, they have a lot to take care of before getting in bed to be well prepared for the next school day. They must be fed, bathed, and homework must be finished, along with any other extra curricular activities the child is involved in. This traffic only causes unwanted stress on parents, which is then directly connected to their children. I know this is a concern for the adults going to work or getting where they need to go as well, but are youth is what really matters here. Children are our future, and we need to realize that their education is important. Not be able to get to or from school in a timely matter for both of these schools can cause much more damage then people can imagine. In my opinion this should be one of the biggest concerns in Rockvale at this present time. Not only for the sake of safety for these children, but also for a better or complete education.
December 06, 2013 at 7:30am
I'll bet that if there were any public hearings prior to the school being built that the issue of traffic came up and (as usual)was ignored. This is a State hwy. and resolution will have to include that entity. Good luck on that! A new school or schools are a magnet for growth in the surrounding area but I can't recall a new subdivision being rejected because the roads won't support the additional traffic. This situation is going to get worse.
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