The Student News Site of Freedom High School



Issues with Navigating the Road

Students at Freedom often need to cross Riding Center Drive to get to school. “The crosswalk is very dangerous at times and it makes me never want to cross the street,” Ella Roney said. Deputies, such as Jason Gadel, are trying to make crossing the Freedom Crosswalk more efficient.

South Riding citizens face issues navigating the road with impatient drivers and unsure pedestrians commuting to their destinations.

The daily flow of late comers to school or work results in traffic and drivers making unsafe shortcuts. People in South Riding wait while crossing the street, and citizens drive in between trafficking rules.

“I definitely think that making sure people follow the speed limit is one of the big things I watch for and also following too closely,” said Deputy Jason Gadell from the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.

Drivers often leave at the last minute and rush to get to their destination. This leads to speeding and following cars too closely to get to places on time. Liberty Elementary school’s staff has seen this as well. To fix this issue, they open the elementary school drop off at 7:25 a.m. instead of the later 7:35 a.m.

“Some parents like to wait till the last second and they get caught up in the traffic on Riding Center,” said Liberty Elementary Principle Paul Pack. “So the problem is that kids are still late to school, even though we open up earlier.”

When exiting the drop off area, there have been some accidents. According to Pack, about one accident per year occurs where Magistrate Street meets Riding Center Drive.

“I think the biggest things people can do to solve some of these issues are be patient, leave a couple minutes early and allow time for traffic,” Gadell said. “Typically most poor decisions made, in regards to traffic, is when people are in a rush.”

When waiting on the sidewalk to cross the street, cars often do not stop for pedestrians.

“Traffic cannot stop, otherwise that driver can be charged with stopping in a highway,” Gadell said. “So the driver has to continue until the person steps foot in the crosswalk.”

Crossing can become difficult at night due to darkness and workers returning from D.C.. Areas near Champe and Mary Washington University have lights on the crosswalk to show when someone is crossing.

All of these laws and changes are made with cooperation between Virginia Department of Transporation, LCSO and LCPS.

“I just want to let you know that anything we do comes from more of a collaborative approach [with] those departments,” Pack said.

For students who have already passed their high school requirements, there are improvement classes and ways they can continue to learn how to keep the roads safe.

“[Driving] can be scary, but it’s also a lot of fun,” Gadell said. “It’s a really cool thing to do.”

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