By Ben Lawson
Burdened with accommodating four schools, Boyd’s Creek Highway has been notorious for morning and afternoon traffic for well over a decade, something many drivers become accustom to even as gas prices continue to climb.
The latest report from knoxvillegasprices.com indicates a 3.3 cent jump in price for the last week alone, while national averages have climbed 7.4 cents. The higher costs could go, the wearier drivers could become of idling in traffic.
With the state responsible for any work done to Boyd’s Creek and no plans by the county commissioners to pressure the state to act, drivers have gotten used to the traffic as a part of life, an opinion reflected by some of the Seymour school principals.
“Traffic is traffic,” said Greg Clark, Seymour High School principal.
He indicated that the level of traffic is to be expected with 3,000 students from all four schools. In addition to parents picking up kids, the high school has 500 student drivers and 21 buses.
Peggy Oakes, principal of the intermediate school, sees the situation as one of choice. She indicated that more students riding buses would help, but that parents choose to pick them up.
“Obviously it’s a problem that people have to plan for,” she said.
Dr. Jan Moore, primary school principal, said she has never seen a problem with the traffic. Like Oakes, she felt the parents had a choice to make whether to come early or wait until three when they would have no trouble getting in.
“I personally do not see it as a bad situation,” she said.
The principals had varying opinions on what solutions could be found, or were needed at all. Moore feels that parents like having the four schools close together to facilitate picking up multiple children.
Clark believed a traffic light at the Boyd’s Creek and Pitner intersection would help, but that the school resource officers would still be needed to direct traffic. Oakes felt that a light there could only confound the situation further.
Clark said the idea had been floated around at one time to stagger the schools’ release times. However, the idea would require buses to run double shifts, something deemed impractical with the current price of gas.
The principal of Seymour Middle School, Dr. Faye Nelson, was unavailable for comment before press time.
Principals Weigh in on Traffic
By Ben Lawson