A new traffic light is proposed at the main entrance of Nation Ford High School to ease traffic congestion.
Fort Mill’s transportation committee recently consulted a traffic impact study for work along Springfield Parkway. Campco Engineering did the study based on the high school, which now has more than 1,600 students and is expected to grow to 2,400 by 2020. An addition to the school building and parking lot is planned through a recently approved bond vote.
Drivers have two ways to leave the school: a one-way exit onto Springfield Parkway and the main entrance on A.O. Jones Boulevard. The intersection at Springfield Parkway and A.O. Jones Boulevard has a traffic signal. The one-way exit does not have a signal.
The planned improvements would put a new light at the main entrance. The existing light at Springfield and A.O. Jones would be upgraded and timed to the new light, with a right turn arrow added for westbound traffic. Concrete medians would be placed on Springfield at the current non-signal exit to prohibit left turns.
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Multiple members of Town Council sit on the transportation committee, but nothing on the issue has yet come to Council.
In a letter to the town, district assistant superintendent Tommy Schmolze wrote the district will install the new signal. Since A.O. Jones is owned and operated by the town, the district wants the town to own and maintain the new signal, too. The new formations are expected to improve traffic for students and others using Springfield Parkway.
“As nonschool related traffic continues to grow on Springfield Parkway,” Schmolze wrote, “exiting school traffic that desires to turn left onto the parkway is greatly impeded.”
In 2012 there were 13 wrecks involving 28 vehicles in the area studied for traffic improvements. The wrecks resulted in two injuries and no fatalities. Two incidents were pulling into or out of parking spaces, one involved crossing the center line and the rest were fender benders.