The construction has been making steady progress at the new Jeanette Rankin Elementary School in Lower Miller Creek, however, residents and city officials are looking at potential traffic flow problems.

MCPS Superintendent Mark Thane said on Monday that several plans are in progress to ensure students’ safety getting to and from school when it opens in October.

“The city does have a time line for the reconstruction of Lower Miller Creek Road,” said Thane. “The improvements will include sidewalks, gutters and curbs, but that’s likely to be late 2019 into early 2020, so we’re a little over a year away.”

Thane said officials are looking at two possible alternatives.

“One, we’re looking at how we can connect with the existing trail system which is already pretty well developed through parts of Linda Vista and the Maloney Ranch area,” he said. “The biggest concern for us is getting kids safely from the Marilyn Park area over to the new school, We would like to avoid having them go down to Lower Miller Creek Road. I’m particularly concerned about winter when snowplows will put berms there, so typically the roadway surface is the only way to navigate the area.”

Thane said another bus may be one answer to the safety problem.

“We’re looking at actually using a shuttle bus over to the school so the students wouldn’t have to walk, and then we’re also working with city Parks and Rec looking for the potential to extend a trail that would connect from that area with some of those streets.”

Thane said he is hopeful that the school district, the city and the Parks and recreation Department will be able to collaborate and solve the access problem by the time the new school opens in October.

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