Maris Stella calls for traffic study

High school seeks to tackle congestion, improve safety

Between 6.50am and 7.30am every school day, traffic along a stretch of Bartley Road slows to a crawl as parents drop their children off at Maris Stella High School.

The congestion goes all the way back to the Bartley Viaduct and Bartley Road East, with cars queuing to enter the school premises, and others pulling over at a nearby drop-off point and bus stop for students to alight.

While the traffic woes faced by parents are nothing new, Maris Stella High School is now looking to get expert help to tackle the problem.

The school recently called for quotations for a traffic impact study - an assessment by a professional transportation firm to see how traffic flow can be better managed, and road safety in and around the school improved.

The tender documents show that the consultant will work with the Land Transport Authority to review the peak-hour traffic around the school - which has primary and secondary levels.

It will also have to estimate the latest possible school arrival times so as to reduce the impact on traffic volume during peak periods, the requirements say.

Principal Joseph Lim said this is the first time the school is calling for such a study, and it is part of continual efforts to optimise traffic conditions.

"Our other ongoing efforts include deploying traffic wardens and holding talks to educate parents and students on good road-safety habits," he told The Straits Times.

The school expects the consultant to complete the study by the middle of this year, after which the recommendations will be reviewed, Mr Lim added.

The closing date for potential tenderers to submit their quotations was Feb 16.

Asked about the slow traffic they face daily, parents said they just have to "live with it", but they also acknowledged that there is no quick fix.

This is because in the mornings, Bartley Road is also used by heavy trucks and goods vehicles.

Public buses also drop commuters off at a bus stop near the school, causing traffic to be "quite a mess", said businessman Joe Chan, 45, who drives his Secondary 4 son to school every day.

Mr Chan added that primary and secondary levels start at roughly the same time - 7.20am and 7.30am - leading to a surge of traffic into the area.

"I don't see any solution, unless we stagger the timings more," he said.

adrianl@sph.com.sg