Administration launches pedestrian safety program

Danny Gordon

A sign reminding community members to drive safely was recently placed in front of the bus loop as part of the program.

By Danny Gordon and Yash Nigram

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In response to recent concerns over CHS’ morning drop-off habits, the administration launched a pedestrian safety campaign Jan. 27.

The administration observed an increase in jaywalking, inattentiveness while crossing the street and illegal U-turns, and is attempting to enforce more stringent safety procedures in an effort to protect students.

“It is important for everyone to abide by the rules and follow directions so that a smooth flow is created,” assistant principal John Taylor said at the program’s start. “We will be continually monitoring the situation and adjusting as needed to ensure a safe and efficient traffic flow.”

CHS planned on taking many measures to prevent conditions from returning to the status quo including maintaining additional police and security presence.

“Security will be out there every day to assist with keeping order and keeping close tabs on what is happening,” Taylor said. “The extra police presence will be only for one week, but [School Resource] Officer Hargrove will be coordinating consistent but irregularly scheduled follow-ups to assist with maintaining the new practices.”

To some parents, however, it does not seem like the administration has taken any additional measures to create a safer environment.

“I actually was not even aware that CHS had launched a pedestrian safety program,” said junior Ethan Denicoff’s mother Andrea Denicoff. “The morning traffic is just as chaotic as it was, and there is no visible increase in security presence.”

Before the flashing safety sign was placed in front of the school Feb. 12, most students were also unaware of the initiative and had not seen any changes despite Taylor’s Jan. 27 mass e-mail that delineated the program’s various aspects.

“I feel like there is no change because there is no extra police presence on site,” junior Aaron Nadler said. “I think that students and parents would only stop breaking the rules if police was there because only cops can issue tickets.”

According to Taylor, the program could have increased awareness and made morning traffic more orderly, but delays and closings during its onset limited long-term coordination between CHS and the police department.

The administration has requested that the police department come to CHS for only two days per week for a few weeks instead of coming for the entire first week as per the original plan.

“We are also seeking expert advice from the Rockville Traffic Department on how to ease congestion and create a safer system for drop off,” Taylor said. “Hopefully, the new program we implement will be more successful.”