Officials pledge to improve Big Highway 95A, Jim Allen Elementary Car Rider Line Problem : NorthEscambia.com
There is a very heavy traffic problem on Highway 95A at Jim Allen Elementary School around drop-off and drop-off times, and officials pledged Wednesday to begin discussions on how to improve the situation.
During driving periods, vehicles line the side of the roadway waiting to turn into the school, and vehicles move onto the shoulder to bypass a setback turning lane.
On Wednesday, even a school bus got stuck off the road in the mud. Other photos submitted by readers show dump trucks stuck in mud, long lines of traffic, drivers on the shoulder and vehicles driving through oncoming traffic.
“The county has offered to open some areas so traffic can get off the road while they tend to the children,” Escambia County District 5 Commissioner Steven Barry said last week during of a public meeting in Walnut Hill. “It’s not what the school thought was the best idea.”
Barry said previous executives weren’t interested in new avenues, but with a new executive in place, he hopes the county can work to resolve the issue.
“If doing some work to get traffic off 95A can help, then we can definitely do that,” he said.
Many parents, community members and other Highway 95A drivers have reached out to NorthEscambia.com for help, including local resident Brianne Freund, a relative of Jim Allen, who said her vehicle was nearly hit as she waited to turn onto Eden Lane.
“The biggest concern is the afternoon traffic. It’s an absolute nightmare,” she said. “Understand that something needs to be done about this as soon as possible. major safety issue with this line in the afternoon.
“If travelers decide to bypass the line, they run the risk of being fined, getting stuck in wet earth, damaging property or causing accidents,” Freund added.
On Wednesday afternoon, NorthEscambia.com reached out to Barry and we reached out to Escambia County District 5 School Board Member Bill Slayton.
“The school board doesn’t have the money or the ability to widen the road,” Slayton said, adding that he would seek to meet with Barry after our discussion.
“I know the lineage of racing drivers very well; it got longer and bigger every year,” Slayton said. “Highway 95A was never built for such a large elementary school or such a crowded motorist queue. It is a school of 600 students and more and more parents are deciding that they want to pick up their children or drive them to school.
Barry told us he was more than willing to meet with Slayton and school officials to find the best solution as soon as possible.
“Whatever we have to do there, we’ll do,” Barry said.
The Escambia County Commission recently approved $2.12 million for the milling and resurfacing of Highway 95A from the north intersection with Highway 29 in Molino (just north of Highway 97 ), nine miles to the south intersection with Highway 29 near Morris Avenue. This project does not include any improvements other than resurfacing near Jim Allen Elementary. Barry said the county may be able to make improvements near the school independently or as a complement to the overall resurfacing project.
As for that school bus that got stuck off-road in the mud, Slayton said it was a replacement driver who should have made a better decision. He said the bus got stuck in a muddy rut created earlier by a bumped dump that got stuck in the same spot.
Got any photos of the Jim Allen Elementary line of car drivers to share? Email [email protected]
Reader submitted photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.