Tallahassee Reports has learned that traffic issues at the entrance of Chiles High School will be addressed by the Florida Department of Transportation before school starts in August.
Laurie Osgood, a parent of a Chiles High School student, started a change.org petition to bring attention to traffic concerns. The petition is titled “SLOW DOWN!!! Morning traffic in front of Lawton Chiles High School needs better speed enforcement.”
The petition, which has been signed by 386 people, can be accessed here.
The petition conveys concern about students having to navigate early morning traffic traveling southbound on Thomasville Road. Traffic in the morning hours causes left-turn lanes to get backed-up and often times results in students driving north, past the school, and completing u-turns to get across Thomasville Rd.
Ms. Osgood writes in the petition “For years, parents, teachers, Chiles administration and the Leon County School Board staff have tried in vain to get DOT to install more effective school zone signage, such as the ones located on Kerry Forest Parkway near Desoto Trail Elementary. We need a solution not excuses from DOT!”
TR requested and received a traffic analysis completed by DOT which recommended changes.
The study was completed at the request of a local resident who was concerned that the turn lane lengths and operating conditions along Thomasville Road were unable to handle the demand.
The report found a definite correlation between school peak traffic periods and roadway crash rates and also that queue stacking can be an occasional issue within the turn lanes.
Based on the report, the following improvements are recommended:
- Extend the existing northbound left turn lane at Timberwolf Crossing to a total turn lane length of 700-ft.
- Extend the existing northbound left turn lane at the northern school entrance to a total turn lane length
of at least 700-ft
- Construct a dedicated southbound right turn lane at the northern school entrance per FDOT Design
Standard Index 301 with a design speed of 50 MPH.
- Construct a dedicated southbound right turn lane at Timberwolf Crossing per FDOT Design Standard
Index 301 at a design speed of 50 MPH.
The report also recommended that Leon County Public Works consider restricting the eastbound left turn movement at the northern school entrance during morning arrival period (6:30 AM to 8:30 AM).
Mr. Robert Tricquet, Director of District Safety for Leon Schools told TR that the changes to the entrance into Chiles High School from Thomasville Road will be altered before school starts in August.
Mr. Tricquet said the improvements include lengthening the left turn lanes and installing two – southbound right turn lanes.
Any further action, such as having a traffic officer placed at the intersection during morning hours, will have to be addressed by Leon County Schools and the the Sheriff’s Office. TR was told that such an action would have financial implications.