South Traffic Improvements


Cars are easily directed out of South’s parking lot in the improved traffic system. Photo courtesy of Sofia Oyarzun.

Over the summer, South changed its traffic system by adding another exit through the district District 225  lot near the front office, and an additional lane inside the parking lot based on a recommendation from the village of Glenview, Casey Wright, Associate Principal of Administrative Services said. The changes were made to improve the safety of students and increase the efficiency of the system for ease of students, staff, and parents, Principal Dr. Barbara Georges said.

These changes include an additional lane, traffic directing lines, and an available exit going westbound on East Lake that cuts through the administration parking lot, Georges said.

It was agreed amongst Georges, Wright, and Dr. Kimberly Ptak, Director of Operations for District 225, that the old traffic system was not ideal for the school’s overall organization. 

“The idea was that the in and out spot was in the same location, so at Pfingsten and Lake, where the entrance is, cars would come into that loop, come all the way around the loop, then have to come out of that loop, so it was a complete circle pattern,” Ptak said.

Parents shared their concerns regarding the old traffic patterns and the backup that occurs when they are heading westbound Ptak said. This in turn sparked the idea that traffic changes should be set in place.

Starting in 2019, the Village of Glenview began conducting traffic studies, to find the best way to improve the flow of traffic in and out of South, Wright said. This spring, Jeff Brady, Director of Community Development for Glenview, reached out to South. Since the traffic build-up was affecting everyday civilians, not just students, the village was granted $500,000 from the State of Illinois for the improvements said Wright.

Engineers will draw out their different ideas and compare them to the previous traffic pattern. Next, they plug their ideas into a computer program that can see the amount of traffic their idea will create, Ptak said. 

Cars are not completing the circular route around the school like they used to with the old traffic patterns; Drivers can cut through the district office and go west on Lake Avenue. If drivers want to go east on Lake, then drivers would have to continue to complete this traffic circle and go out, Ptak said.

The new traffic system affected the students of South positively, Georges said.

“It was well worth the improvements to make sure that students have a way to get on and off of campus as easily and quickly as possible without being backed up on to busy streets,” Georges said

This project is far from over. Ptak explained a multiphase plan, starting in 2018. 

“A second lane was added inside the south parking lot lanes, and there is noticeably more landscaping on the concrete islands inside the parking lot so that students don’t walk through them. The district is also hoping to add a second sidewalk along Lake avenue for students who normally cut through the district office parking lot; it’s not safe for the students or district employees who are cutting through.”, Ptak said.

Both Ptak and Wright agree with Georges that the traffic system improvements at South have left a positive impact on the school’s organization.

”Every response I’ve gotten has been positive. Parents are indicating they are getting students picked up faster and the staff is able to get in and out of the lots faster. I watched carefully at the football game Friday night, and having two lanes getting out was faster, so overall it’s very positive.” Georges said.