As you are aware, the Reading Memorial High School will move to an 8:30 a.m. start time this year, which will increase traffic around Birch Meadow School in the mornings. This summer, representatives from the Reading Police Department, the School Department, Facilities Department, and I met to strategize about maintaining safety on the streets around Birch Meadow. The following actions are being taken to maintain safe streets around Birch Meadow School:
- A crossing guard will be at the Birch Meadow Drive crosswalk that extends from the field to the back driveway of the school. This guard will be in addition to the crossing guards at the intersections at Forest Street/Arthur B Lord Drive and Birch Meadow Drive/ Arthur B Lord Drive.
- During the transition period and as needed after the transition, an electronic message board indicating car speed will be set up on either Birch Meadow Drive or Arthur B Lord Drive.
- There will be increased police presence in the area during the transition. Please remember that the police presence at schools is impacted by calls for service.
- Throughout the school year, the police will pay additional attention to cars parked in or blocking crosswalks.
After the opening weeks of school, I will meet with police and school representatives to report out on the traffic situation and discuss additional or different measures.
I am very grateful for the support and advice of the police officers, facilities and central office administrators in planning this transition. Birch Meadow School is receiving additional resources in the form of a crossing guard and electronic sign and additional oversight throughout this transition.
Reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns.