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Back to School: Traffic Alert and Safety Reminders

Filed in Archive, District, District News by on September 11, 2020

Bethlehem Central School District students will begin returning to school buildings the week of September 14 as a phased re-entry to the 2020-21 school year continues. While there will be fewer students in our schools than usual, the overwhelming majority of BC students — 87% — have chosen to return for in-person instruction. In seeking to maximize social distancing on school buses, students and families have been encouraged to find alternatives to using the bus when possible.

This means that families and community members will want to be aware of the following:

  • Expect more vehicle traffic, especially at the elementary schools and the middle school (students in grades K-6 will be attending every day beginning Sept. 16)
  • Watch for more walkers and bicyclists on roads and sidewalks
  • Use special care and patience in parking lots and around school grounds
  • Expect more bus traffic on the roads between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. than in the past (the high school now begins at 8 a.m., the same time as the middle school)

Families will also want to pay special attention to their school’s arrival and dismissal plans. Patience, flexibility and pre-planning will go a long way in reducing frustration at drop-off or pick-up. Also, please help us be good neighbors by ensuring that you do not block driveways, crosswalks or roads when driving students to or from schools, and ask your teenage children who drive to do the same.

To assist the school district with these important safety measures, the Bethlehem Police Department and the Town of Bethlehem’s Bicycle & Pedestrian Safety Committee have created this print-friendly reminder on how to keep our streets and sidewalks safe.

These safety tips include:

Bike Safety

  • Always wear a helmet.
  • Be Seen. Wear reflective bright gear and use appropriate lights at dawn/dusk.
  • Ride Right. Always ride on the right side of the road.
  • Obey All Traffic Laws. You are entitled to your space on the road and must follow the same traffic laws that apply to motor vehicle drivers.
  • Ride Single File. Maintain six feet of distance from other cyclists and remember to share the road with motor vehicles.

Pedestrian Safety

  • Use sidewalks when available.
  • Always use a marked crosswalk when one is available.
  • Walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic, if sidewalks are not available.
  • Maintain social distance or wear a mask when walking in groups or passing others.
  • Look LEFT-RIGHT-LEFT to check before crossing the road.
  • Be visible. Wear bright, reflective clothing, and use lights or flashers when it’s dawn or dusk.

Driving Safety

  • Yield to pedestrians in all crosswalks. It’s the Law.
  • Do not stop in or block crosswalks and intersections.
  • SPEED KILLS. Obey the speed limit.
  • Scan for pedestrians at intersections.
  • Keep an eye on students gathered at bus stops and being dropped off.
  • Be ready for the unexpected! Children have difficulty judging speeds and distances.
  • Pass at a Safe Distance. Slow down and wait for a safe place to pass with a minimum of 3 feet of clearance.