Traffic Changes Coming to MacArthur School Area

Joe Denoyer - March 14, 2022 3:35 pm

The Liberal City Commission approved the recommendation of the Traffic Safety Advisory Committee to allow a temporary barricade to be placed on South Holly Dr. in front of MacArthur Elementary School during dropoff and pickup times.

Beginning March 21, 2022 South Holly Dr. between Cain Ave. and Bellaire Ave. will be blocked to all through traffic while the school zone is activated. The barricade will be in place from 7:30 a.m. to 8:10 a.m. and again from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on days when school is in session.

“The traffic during drop-off and pick-up has been a challenge so I appreciate the cooperation of everyone involved in this solution. I believe this will help address our concerns about student safety during these high-traffic times,” said Jennifer Workman, MacArthur Principal.

The temporary barricade and its effects on traffic and student safety will be assessed after three weeks by both USD 480 and the Liberal Traffic Safety Committee. The two entities will determine whether the effects on local residences, parents, and student safety dictates continuing with a temporary barricade, installing a more permanent barricade, or proceeding without a barricade in place.

“We looked into several options when addressing the traffic concerns at and around MacArthur and working with the City of Liberal we feel this is the best option at this time,” said Chad Mease, USD 480 Director of Operations.

USD 480 will be in charge of putting up and taking down the barricade during both the morning and afternoon sessions, each day. USD 480 will decide after the three weeks if changes need to be made to the temporary barricade as well as evaluate the effectiveness of a barricade.

“I’m grateful for the cooperation we received from the city and the community members in the area,” Mease said. “They understood we are doing this for the safety of our students and were willing to work with us every step of the way.”

Students in kindergarten and 1st grade will continue to be dropped off and picked up on the East side of the building. Parents picking up or dropping off children in kindergarten or 1st grade will need to approach MacArthur from the South Holly Dr. and Cain Ave. intersection.

Students in 2nd through 5th grade will continue to be dropped off and picked up on the West side of the building. Parents picking up or dropping off children in any of those grades will need to approach MacArthur from the South Holly Dr. and Bellaire Ave. intersection.

“Change is hard, but once everyone learns the new routine I expect it to run smoothly. I just ask for patience with school personnel and with each other as these changes are implemented,” Workman said.

The temporary barricade will prevent any traffic, not just parents doing pickups and dropoffs, from being able to travel through South Holly Dr. from Bellaire Ave. to Cain Ave. while the school zone is active.

“We hope this causes as little disruption as possible to those who use South Holly Dr. on a daily basis, but our goal is to keep our students and staff as safe as possible,” Mease said.

USD 480 has reached out to the residents in the area to make them aware of the upcoming changes and they were given the opportunity to ask questions as well as have any concerns addressed at various meetings and personally with Mr. Mease.

“We did our due diligence as we moved through this process, we wanted to make sure residents in the immediate area were aware of what we were proposing and wanted to limit any possible inconvenience to them, while keeping our student’s safety the number one priority,” Mease said.

USD 480 asks that anyone driving through this area during these times use extra caution as everyone gets used to the new procedures.

 

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