With start of school, expect congestion, police patrols

  • John Santana<br>Mill Creek Enterprise editor
  • Monday, March 3, 2008 11:37am

Anyone driving past a school on a morning commute might want to leave a few minutes earlier starting on Wednesday, Sept. 6.

The first day and first week of school in the Mill Creek area will bring plenty of hazards for drivers.

“Be on the lookout for kids walking and riding bikes, and watch the crosswalks,” Mill Creek Police chief Bob Crannell said. “It could be their first time commuting to school.”

In previous years, the streets around Mill Creek Elementary School have been especially prone to morning gridlock, but Crannell believes a new stoplight near the school at 148th Street SE and 35th Avenue SE will help ease the flow of traffic in and out of the school and surrounding neighborhood.

“It’s going to help the traffic up there,” he said.

Another area of potential morning slowdowns is on 136th Street SE near Jackson High School, although Crannell says generally, traffic flows through there fairly well.

Mill Creek Police aren’t planning to have any additional officers on duty to handle the morning and afternoon school rush, but Crannell says officers will patrol the streets around Mill Creek Elementary, Heatherwood Middle and Jackson High schools.

Police also will watch for speeders coming out of Jackson after school, especially on 25th Avenue in the Heatherwood West neighborhood. Residents sought ways to control speeders, which eventually led to annexation of the area into Mill Creek last December.

“We worked that a lot last year,” Crannell said. “We will be over there working that area.”

Outside the city of Mill Creek, Snohomish County Sheriff’s deputies will be stepping up school zone enforcement in the mornings and afternoons during the first week of school, looking for speeders, deputy Richard Niebusch said.

In the end, the back-to-school goal of local enforcement is simple: “We don’t want to see anybody get hurt,” Crannell said.

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