CARMEL, Ind. — Carmel Clay Schools is working to make sure students living in its no-bus zones still stay safe on their way to school.
School administrators say the no-bus zones were created due to a shortage of drivers. The zones are within a roughly one-mile radius of the schools.
The school district is working together with the Carmel Police Department and the city for increased awareness as they attempt to reduce the impact this change will have on Carmel students and families.
”This really is an all-hands-on-deck approach,” said Adam Aasen, a Carmel City Council member.
Aasen said he’s heard concerns from people he represents about drivers going too fast down residential streets and sidewalks in need of repairs.
”We’ll have infrastructure, we’ll have personnel who are school resource officers, crossing guards, and we’ll have police monitoring speed,” Aasen said.
Other pieces of this new plan include nine midblock crosswalks to be added in high traffic areas near schools.
”Our engineering department is ready and prepared to address this problem,” Aasen said. “They have some crosswalks they can put up pretty quickly that have flashing lights to have added assistance to help people crossing busy areas.”
The plan also includes increased Carmel police officers to watch for speed.
”Be aware that there are kids crossing the street or on the sidewalk,” Aasen advised. “Don’t be on your phone, pay attention and you’re going to help everyone get their safer.”
Aasen said the hope is the school bus driver shortage is solved sooner rather than later. He also wants to remind everyone, applications to be a bus driver are open.
“You’re providing a service to your community, so you’d be getting paid and helping out your community,” Aasen said.
Below is a statement from Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard and a list of all changes being made and additional resources.
“The safety of our students and families is a top priority and when I learned of the School District’s decision to change the bus routes, along with the rest of the community, I immediately reached out to our Engineering, Streets and Police departments to work as quickly as possible on a plan to enhance the safety of those who must now bike or walk to school. We have worked hard to build our network of paths and sidewalks to provide for a more walkable and bicycle-friendly community.”Mayor Jim Brainard
- Up to nine signalized, mid-block crossing are being installed near schools, with more to come if needed.
- Elementary students will start classes 10 minutes earlier, middle school students 20 minutes earlier and high school students 20 minutes later; all elementary schools will now be open at 7:15 am to promote rolling arrivals prior to the busy bell time.
- Carmel Police officers will be stationed around the schools to monitor and deter speeding and for general safety purposes. Further measures are being explored at this time.
- Carmel Clay Schools will work closely with Carmel Police to identify and remedy any needed crosswalks or additional safety measures.
- Each Carmel school building has a connection point to the more than 200 miles of paths and trails and hundreds of miles of sidewalks that can be used to safely traverse the City.
- Our connected and safe network of sidewalks, paths and trails make Carmel the perfect place to form a “Walking School Bus,” defined as a group of children walking to school with one or more adults. It could be as small as just a few families or as big as a neighborhood. Learn more about this here.
- Another option would be to form “Bicycle Trains,” which are similar to the Walking School Bus, but with bikes. Learn more about that here.
- Schools, neighborhood associations and parents can also find valuable resources here:
- If bicycling and walking is not an option, families are encouraged to carpool, to help ease congestion at schools for drop-off and pick up.