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Smithsburg expands town's school zone

May 06, 2012|By DAVE McMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com

SMITHSBURG — Growing traffic problems such as speeding in Smithsburg and the fact that more students are walking to the town’s schools has led town officials to expand the town’s school zone.

The school zone currently starts along a hill on North Main Street leading up to Smithsburg High, Smithsburg Middle and Smithsburg Elementary schools, said Smithsburg Police Chief George Knight.

Smithsburg Town Council members Tuesday night agreed to extend the school zone south on Main Street to East School Lane, Knight said.

The zone also was extended north to Geiser Way, he said.

In the school zone, the speed limit is 20 mph from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The speed limit outside the school zone is 30 mph, Knight said.

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Knight said he believed it was important to expand the school zone because of growing traffic issues in town such as speeding.

Also, Washington County Public Schools has reduced bus service in the downtown area and in Whispering Hills, which has led to more students walking, Knight said.

New signs will be placed in the area notifying motorists of the expanded school zone, Knight said.

The signs probably will be installed within 20 to 30 days, and Knight said his department likely will start enforcing the speed limit in that zone in about 30 days.

Knight said there probably will be a grace period until people get used to the new school zone.

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