Traffic flow changing at BEMS

Work has already started to alleviate traffic issues at BEMS
By: 
Shawn McGrath
Assistat Editor

Traffic in the 100 block of South Baltimore Street, between Plymouth and South streets and near Bremen Elementary-Middle School, will become one-way northbound, following a Bremen Town Council meeting on Monday, July 27.
Traffic on one-way eastbound South Street will be closed and routed through the BEMS drive-through during student drop-off and pick-up times before and after school.
Temporary barricades will be used to move traffic through the student drop-off/pick-up area on the school's north side.
The drop-off/pick-up area will be divided into two lanes, said Alex Mikel, Bremen Street and Water Superintendent. The left lane will merge with South Baltimore Street and the right lane will return onto South Street, he said.
The Bremen Town Council unanimously approved the traffic change at its Monday meeting.
The 100 block of Baltimore will be one-way northbound permanently, Mikel said. The road will remain divided into two lanes.
The west lane will be for left turns onto Plymouth only, while the east lane will be for either continuing northbound on Baltimore or turning right onto Plymouth, the street superintendent said. Baltimore will continue to have two-way traffic north of Plymouth.
Parking will no longer be allowed on the Baltimore's west side. However, parking will be permitted on the street's east side, where it is currently banned.
Mikel said the traffic changes will go into effect as soon as new signage can be put in place, or about two weeks. The goal, he said, is to have the changes in effect before school starts on Thursday, Aug. 13.
Bremen Public Schools Superintendent Jim White told the school board during a recent meeting that something had to be done to relieve traffic congestion at BEMS. He said then that it was likely only a matter of time before a student was injured going to or leaving school.
"We're hoping this works out," White said. "But if not, it's an inexpensive try. We're really just trying to make this safer for students and easier for parents."
Mikel acknowledged that it will take some time before drivers are used to the new traffic pattern.
"I think it's going to be a learning process for everyone," he said.

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