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'Recipe for Disaster' | Parents Concerned Over New Northern Guilford Middle School Traffic Patterns

Northern Guilford Middle School mom says new traffic patterns caused her husband's car crash Monday morning.

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — During the day traffic is pretty quiet on Spencer Dixon Road in Guilford County.

However, parents of Northern Guilford High School and Middle School students say before and after class, traffic is a nightmare.

"There is entirely too much traffic. Its just a recipe for disaster and that happened this morning," Kelley Johnson, middle school parent, said.

Johnson said her husband and son were involved in a minor car accident Monday morning in front of the schools on Spencer Dixon Road.

State Highway Patrol confirms the crash happened a little after 8:30 a.m. and a 17-year-old was cited. Thankfully, no one was injured.

Johnson blames the accident on the school's new traffic patterns that started Monday morning and they found out about Sunday night.

ALERT **** NEW TRAFFIC PATTERN at NGHS begins tomorrow. Please SLOW ... DOWN on Spencer Dixon to help facilitate this change. **** Students will use the STUDENT ENTRANCE in the morning and the STUDENT EXIT in the afternoon. The student entrance will be ONE WAY IN from 7:30-9:00 am and ONE WAY OUT from 3:00-4:30 pm.

"Everybody was very confused this morning," Johnson said.

WFMY reached out to GCS and they said parents had come forward about the ongoing traffic issues at Northern High and Middle Schools. That's why they sent a message out on October 8 about a potential plan the district was working on to fix the issues.

They then sent out the specific details on Sunday night.

GCS said this plan mainly affected students, not parents.

However, Johnson said it did affect parents. She said she acknowledges their efforts, but says she wishes they would've gotten more of a heads up about the changes.

"Implement better, implement slower, think about it before you put something in place, and by all means put up some signs," Johnson said.

Here's the message parents were sent:

"Good evening Nighthawk families.  This is Janiese McKenzie, Principal of Northern Guilford High School with a very important announcement about changes in the traffic patterns on campus.  We need your help moving forward and have appreciated your support and patience while we worked through recommendations from the NCDOT, law enforcement and GCS Safety. 

                Parents with students at both Northern Guilford Middle School and Northern Guilford High School not wanting to navigate both drop-off lines, can drop their high school student at either of the crosswalks (at the high school student parking lot or football concession stand) from the middle school line.  In the afternoons, high school students can walk the sidewalk directly behind the stadium, utilizing the crosswalk at the concession stand, and proceeding via the sidewalk to the main entrance of the middle school to be picked up. 

                Parents picking up or dropping off at the high school will begin filling both incoming lanes that feed the front circle.  This may delay access to the visitor's lot in the afternoon.  School personnel will be outside to help facilitate this new pattern over the coming days and weeks.  We will continue to use a single file pattern through the circle, using an alternating feed pattern from the two lanes.  Cars dropping off or picking up will remain to the right while those proceeding to exit will pass and leave the circle on the left. Please do not pick up or drop off in the left lane of the circle.  This pattern is intended to clear the right turn lane into the school to allow greater visibility for cars turning left out of the main entrance.

                All students must enter and exit the student parking lot through the driveway behind the softball field as the yellow gate, located near the main drive, will be locked from 8:15am to 4:30pm.  The drive to the student lot will become a one-way entry drive from 7:30am to 9:00am each day and a one-way exit from 3:00pm to 4:30pm.  Between 9:00am and 3:00pm, it will remain a two-way road for students arriving late, leaving early, or transitioning to other schools/programs.  We will have additional law enforcement support for the next few days to assist with this change.  I will be meeting with all drivers (Juniors/Seniors) tomorrow to explain the exit process and answer any questions they may have.  Signage is forthcoming from GCS and the NCDOT as well as some additional lane markings.  Maps of these changes will be posted on our website tomorrow.  We will utilize tomorrow and Tuesday as practice days to become familiar with the changes.

                As any additional recommendations are made, we will communicate as soon as possible.  Thank you for your patience as we work through this new process.  If you have any questions, please give us a call at 336-643-8449.  Thank you and have a good evening."

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