Written by Michelle Corless, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -
On Monday afternoon drivers near Cleveland Elementary School went full speed.
But when school starts Tuesday morning, they'll need to slow down.
"That's probably one of our biggest concerns, area of concern, is making sure that we've got drivers slowing down enough," said Cristy Hamblin, Cedar Rapids Police Department Public Information Officer.
To help drivers know when they have to slow down Cedar Rapids installed new signs, complete with flashing lights, across the city.
The old school zone signs were confusing to some drivers, so while the city was changing the them to meet new standards they also decided to change the wording.
"Our signs did say 'when children were present'" said Hamblin. "That was ambiguous to the public. School is in session but they weren't out at recess, so are children present or not present?"
700 signs, 37 flashers, and four speed feedback signs are posted across Cedar Rapids.
"We decided to change it to include the beacon so that when the beacons come on, it's very clear when they're on flash there the speed limit is reduced to 25," said Tom Peterson, City Traffic Engineer Division Manager.
Not all schools have flashing lights nearby. In some cases the city decided to change the permanent speed limit near the school.
"Where the speed's already down to 25 roughly most of the time, those we thought we could reduce on a more permanent basis because the speeds were not going to be negatively impacted," said Peterson.
Areas with higher amounts of traffic would have been hurt by lowering the limit so that's where drivers will need to look for flashing lights.
School principals will be able to control the flashing lights.
If there's a sporting event or graduation ceremony, the lights can also be turned on to help control traffic.
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