Students, teachers, and parents are interested in the new traffic pattern at Long Beach High School. Due to construction of the new stadium/athletic facilities and the removal of Blackheath Pre-Kindergarten Center, changes have been made to the previous traffic pattern.
The car traffic entrance is now through Blackheath Road. All cars enter through the Blackheath entrance and exit through Lagoon Drive. However, the buses still enter through Lagoon Drive and exit using Blackheath Road.
During the “high volume” times, between 7:30am and 7:50am, there are frequent traffic jams. The Blackheath entrance is not wide enough for a two-way movement of cars and buses. In order to allow the buses to exit, all cars are stopped on the side of the road. Students in the cars are late to school because of this issue. Also, there are cars parked on both sides of Blackheath Road, and it is a tight squeeze for buses when traveling south on Blackheath Road. When the buses have to slowly maneuver through tight areas, cars have to wait extra time.
There have been many positives outcomes that have come with this traffic change. Because the cars exit through Lagoon Drive, it is convenient for working parents that have to get to the parkway. Another advantage is the increased security on Blackheath Rd. This increased security ensures the safety of the students walking and biking to school. Once cars enter through the gates on Blackheath, it is much faster and more convenient for students getting dropped off. Students are avoiding the rain because cars are able to pull underneath the underpass.
Many students are curious as to whether this traffic pattern is permanent, so we sat down with the principal, Mr. Neil Lederer, to ask him some questions about the construction.
Q: Is this traffic pattern temporary or permanent?
A: This pattern is permanent for now. In the long-term, this is the pattern we will use.
Q: What are the problems with the current traffic circle?
A: We are working to manage the morning traffic, which includes the arriving cars and students on foot and bicycles, with the buses exiting after drop off.
Q: Do you think it is handled properly?
A: We are doing the best that we can. We have asked construction vehicles to come before 7 am and after 8 am. We have made sure to maximize the amount of security around the entrance to ensure the safety of the students. I have also tried to prevent buses from exiting between 7:45 and 7:50 when traffic is heaviest.
Q: How are you addressing the complaints?
A: We have not received too many complaints, and many people are appreciative of the work that we are doing to make the traffic better. Security is very good. We have tried to confine students walking and biking to one side of the road, so it is easier to control both the walkers and the cars.
Q: Why did the school change the traffic pattern?
A: The pattern changed from previous years, so students would exit vehicles on the side of the building and not have to cross traffic.
And there you have it folks! You now have the inside scoop on your questions and concerns about the new and improved traffic pattern.