7-step plan to address Emmorton Elementary traffic woes

The Harford County Sheriff's Office, after a recent meeting with school and county officials, has announced that seven steps will be tried to deal with the traffic issues in the area of Emmorton Elementary School.

The sheriff's office also said that when the traffic program is fully implemented, there would still only be one crossing guard assigned to the school.

The seven steps, according to the Harford County Sheriff's Office, are:

A crosswalk will be moved from the townhouse side of Tollgate Road and Montrose Way to Montrose Way at Clydebank Drive;

The speed limit in the designated "School Zone" will be reduced from 35 mph to 25 mph;

A "No U-Turn" sign will be installed in front of school;

Reflective signs will be posted in the circle to alert drivers;

A hand held stop sign will be issued to the guard to increase the visibility to drivers;

"No stopping or standing" signs will be installed at the corner of the school entrance on Tollgate Road; and

"No parking" signs along Tollgate Road adjacent to the parks and recreation field will remain.

More students are walking to Emmorton Elementary this year following changes to school busing policies made over the summer. Cuts to the Harford County Public Schools budget request led to a decrease in school buses allotted to pick up students in the area.

At a school board meeting on Oct. 14, parents complained about their children crossing the "extra-wide roundabout" at Montrose Way and Tollgate Road.

Issues were also raised about the driving behavior of parents who are now driving their kids to school in the morning. According to some concerned residents, parents driving their children to school have been exceeding the speed limit and hitting U-turns in the street after dropping them off.

But Capt. Jon Krass, of the Harford County Sheriff's Office, said recently that on average, most drivers near Emmorton Elementary are obeying the speed limit. He said a study was recently completed in the area to measure the average speed of drivers.

"We aren't seeing a speed issue on Tollgate Road," Krass said. "It's the volume of cars. The roundabout slows people down and people are going the speed limit."

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