Mayor Chris Beutler and State Senator Ken Haar today announced that additional safety measures are being taken to help students living in the Highlands area of northwest Lincoln reach Schoo Middle School, which opened last year. Those students who live south of U.S. Highway 34 and walk to school must cross the highway to reach the school at 700 Penrose Drive.
Last winter, StarTran added service from a single pick- up location in the Highlands to the school. That service has been expanded for the upcoming school year. StarTran worked with the Schoo administration to develop the new route, which will loop through the Highlands with multiple stops. The new route is called the #52 Gaslight Booster.
At the same time, a new school zone with a speed limit of 45 mph has been created on Highway 34 north and south of its intersection with Fletcher. The regularly posted speed in that area is 60 mph. Prior to last school year, a countdown cross walk was installed at the intersection along with new sidewalks, a new left-turn arrow and new crosswalk markings.
"These are significant safety measures that will help us reach our main goal – getting students to and from school safely," said Mayor Beutler. "I want to thank the Schoo administration as well as the residents of the neighborhood who worked with us to make improvements. I also want to thank Senator Haar who represents this area for making this issue a priority and helping us find solutions."
"The health and safety of children is a top priority of mine," said Senator Haar. "I want to thank Mayor Beutler and the City of Lincoln for stepping up to the plate to address the potentially dangerous school crossing at Highway 34 and Fletcher with the installment of a 45 mph school zone and the booster bus route."
Information on the new StarTran route is available at startran.lincoln.ne.gov and 476-1234. StarTran staff will attend the Schoo open houses August 12 and 16 to meet with parents and students and sell bus passes. The new school zone will be in effect for the first time from 6 to 7 p.m on Safe Walk and Safe Ride to School Night August 16. The lower speed limit will be in effect weekdays 7:15 to 7:45 a.m. and 3:15 to 3:45 p.m. Recommended walking routes for all Lincoln schools are available from school principals and the City website at lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: schools).