School traffic causing jams on a daily basis

By Eric

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCIV) -- A growing school campus has contributed to a growing traffic problem in North Charleston.

Each day 2,000 students descend on the cluster of schools surrounding Academic Magnet High. But getting there on-time can be a headache.

Picture a rock concert that's just getting out; that's what people say the area looks like when students try to get to the campus every morning. Monday was the first day an officer was directing traffic as early as 7:30 a.m., though police presence started Friday.

There are five schools to get to, all starting classes around the same time. Between 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m., just about every morning, the intersection at Enterprise and Lackawana gets plenty of traction.

"When you're talking about 2,000 students trying to get in on a two-lane road, you know it's a struggle," said nearby resident, Robbie Struthers. "It's getting better, but at times there are days when you just want to pull your hair out and park."

According to some students at Academic Magnet and the Charleston County School of the Arts, they sit in traffic 30 minutes or more.

"It's pretty hectic," one student said. "If I get here at 7:30 a.m. I can't get to school until the bell rings, that's how bad it is."

Other students have petitioned Mayor Keith Summey on Facebook. They say the city of North Charleston has made the situation worse. The city recently closed off short cuts through nearby neighborhoods, forcing everyone coming to use just one way in.

But leaders defended the move, saying they set it to crackdown on people speeding through residential areas. Either way, the tie ups now impact more than just the schools.

"It can be up to 45 minutes to an hour, just trying to get around, just trying to get away from it all, not even trying to get into the schools," said Struthers.

And even though the back up can sometimes stretch all the way down Montague Street to the Liberty Hill neighborhood, practicing patience could make the wait a little easier.

"I think we should just wait it out and see," said Jonathan Glenn, a student at Academic Magnet. "Maybe the flow will ease up and it will go back to normal."

Students who get caught cutting through neighborhoods around the schools face a $230 fine.

The Charleston County School District has had no involvement in traffic decisions around the school campus.