Chesterfield drivers concerned about traffic outside new school

By Melissa Correa - bio | email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - It's an unexpected lesson in patience.  Hundreds of drivers dealt with traffic outside the new Clover Hill High School.  Without any traffic lights, drivers were forced to figure out the rules of the road on their own.

The $67 million Clover Hill High School is state-of-the art and much needed. But with the first day of school underway some people are now worried this massive school could cause major congestion on the road.

They might as well be watching tennis, because this morning driver's heads moved from left to right as they waited for a clearing along Genito Road.

On the first day of school, just before 7 a.m., traffic quickly built up off of Genito Road. With no stop lights or stop signs people were having a tough time turning in and out of campus.

Students and parents were stranded in lanes as 45 mile-per-hour traffic whizzed by.  School speed limit signs are up but weren't flashing.

"There should be a light," said one parent who was waiting to drop off his son.  "There should be a light. There should be something to direct traffic out here."

One teen was just a few hundred feet from Clover Hill high when he got stuck in traffic. Five minutes before the first bell he was still inching forward in the turning lane.

"It's a little rough this morning, but we'll see," said the teen boy as he was stuck in traffic.  Were you expecting it to be this busy? "No. This is much worse than I thought but we've got to get to school."

Brandermill homeowner Tom Bierowski is worried for student safety.  "You need traffic control, and a light is going to control that," he said.

But traffic lights aren't slated for the new intersection.  According to VDOT, a traffic study was done at the start of the project.  The Chesterfield County school system would have had to cover the light signals if they were needed.  But the study showed there isn't enough traffic to warrant lights.

As for school speed limit signs, A VDOT employee said they are posted on the road leading up to the school.  Signs along Genito Road were deemed not necessary.

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