A new right-turn lane from eastbound Central Road into the main entrance of Rolling Meadows High School should help decrease morning congestion, the Rolling Meadows City Council agreed Tuesday.
The council approved adding the road improvement to its current contract with Arrow Road Construction of Mount Prospect. Northwest Suburban High School District 214 will reimburse the city $78,770 for the project costs.
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An obvious school pedestrian crossing with special signs will replace the current stop signs on Central, Police Chief Dave Scanlan said after the meeting.
Authorities at the school, 2901 W. Central Road, asked for traffic help at the end of March because congestion meant students were arriving late for school. Getting the buses to the school on time was a major problem because the same buses take students to Elk Grove High School, so those students were tardy, too, Scanlan said.
Besides the turn lane from Central Road, the exit at Jay Lane will be changed so one lane can serve as an entrance.
In addition, the district will consider building a road on the south side of the school to create a buses-only entrance at Oak Lane, the police chief said.
The congestion affected several other schools in the neighborhood as well as neighborhood residents, he said.
"We tried a number of different traffic patterns," said Scanlan. "Two or three of them were not successful, so finally we put four officers out there, but we can't do that every day.
"We will have a public-relations campaign when school starts to tell students and parents about the changes, but we will have to have officers there for a while until people get used to the new patterns."