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Thursday, January 25, 2018

ALERT: School Traffic Pattern to Change at Fort Thomas and Highland Avenues

This week, the Fort Thomas Police Department changed up the early morning traffic pattern at North Fort Thomas Avenue and Memorial Parkway by having the crossing guard there helping children cross at the intersection, but did not directing traffic.

According to Fort Thomas Police Officer, Sean Donelan, that experiment was a success. He said that commute times have decreased and feedback has been positive from drivers.

RELATED: New Traffic Pattern to Take Effect at Memorial Parkway and N. Fort Thomas Ave. 

"We have data that indicates our changes have sped up arrival times and reduced tardy students dramatically at Highlands High School and Highlands Middle School," said Donelan, who noted that some delays are occurring after students are dropped off. "We are willing to make mistakes while trying different solutions, but the biggest mistake is not trying anything."

Orangetheory Fitness, located at Newport Pavilion. 
Donelan said that with phase one of the traffic experiment complete, the police department is moving onto phase two: instituting similar changes at Fort Thomas and Highland Avenues.

Otherwise known as Judy the Crossing Guard's intersection.

Fort Thomas Police will again monitor the experiment in real-time to analyze the results. They plan on instituting these temporary changes on Monday, January 29, and Tuesday, January 30.

Judy Kiskaden has manned the intersection for thirty years. She's well known for her vigilance and for her dedication.

Highland Avenue, facing Fort Thomas Avenue. FTM file. 
RELATED: Judy the Crossing Guard Profile 

Donelan said she won't be replaced or let go.

"We're going to try it again at this intersection, where she will only stop cars to cross pedestrians," he said. "We appreciate her hard work and her safety is just as important to us as the rest of the pedestrians and motorists.  She is receptive to trying something new for the betterment of traffic flow and she will continue to work that post.  We will reevaluate our strategy after those two days on the efficiency of traffic flow."

Donelan said that the department has received feedback from citizens that they would like the department's help in trying to slow the flow of traffic into the central business district and around the school.

"Trying this staggered approach may cause delays, but we hope that this approach will allow easier exit from Lumley and Bluegrass and provides less of a back up on northbound North Fort Thomas Ave and northbound Memorial Pkwy in front of the schools."

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