At the state Department of Transportation shop in Haines, three-foot alders are growing between two, new, flashing road signs designating a school zone. The signs have been there at least three years.
Why they’re not up in front of the Haines School is what school and police officials want to know.
A similar set of signs that alerted drivers to the old school facing Main Street came down last spring.
Local DOT foreman Matt Boron said he can’t put the new signs up without an okay from superiors in Juneau.
In a brief e-mail message, Carolyn Morehouse, chief of preliminary design and environmental for Southeast region, said the new location on Haines Highway was still in the design phase.
Borough police chief Gary Lowe said he was disappointed the state’s signs weren’t up for the start of the new school year.
He stationed a new borough sign that reads vehicle speed on the eastern approach to the school. He believes that’s been helping keep speeds down. "Absolutely. It really draws attention."
He said he’ll keep the sign in the school area for a few weeks.
A plan to build a pedestrian bridge and trail parallel to the school track to get students off the shoulder of the old highway through the state’s Safe Routes to School program is currently on hold, pending a meeting between school and borough officials.
"It is an issue," school board president Carol Kelly said of the need for safety improvements at the front of the school. "We need to get that resolved. I hate to think a child has to be injured before the state makes a change there."