Traffic Jams a Concern at Bearden High School

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Knoxville (WVLT) - If you drive anywhere near Bearden High School around eight in the morning or three in the afternoon, you know it's one big traffic jam.

Volunteer TV's Kim Bedford has the latest on the Bearden backup.

Traffic is flowing a lot smoother now than it was when the students let out around 3:30. Some parents and students we spoke with say the congestion is getting too dangerous out here.

"On Kingston Pike it's pretty backed up, but it's always lined up," Bearden senior Casey Majni said.

Traffic's moving at a snail's pace around 8:15 Friday morning near Bearden High School, and many drivers are in a hurry to get to school or work on time.

"People are trapped in the intersection and the light's turning red, so you can't have cars going around other cars, busses going around other busses," parent Kathy Heath said.

Kathy Heath drives her daughter to Bearden High every morning and says it's always one big mess.

"When you come up Gallaher View and make the left onto Kingston Pike, you've got people who are going into the two left lanes, but then in the emergency lane you have people lining up to get into Bearden," Heath said.

Construction near Downtown West is the main reason for the headaches. It leaves only three out of the four entrances open in the morning.

"Around 1,600 of our students arrive by car in the mornings, and so as you get closer to the 8:30 start time, the more vehicles show up," Bearden principal Lynn Hill said.

Bearden High School principal Lynn Hill says they have two Knox County security officers and one KPD School Resource Officer directing traffic on campus.

"We are using many of our teachers to try to help the flow of the cars and just the merging of the traffic," Hill said.

"It's now become a dangerous issue to drive to Bearden School," Heath said.

Heath says sooner or later, someone's going to get hurt.

"This whole traffic jam is just a potential for an accident. We really need a policeman out that could direct the traffic," Heath said.

We checked with KPD, and they say they're sending an officer to Bearden Tuesday morning to check out the traffic situation and do an evaluation to see if there's something that needs to be done.

Principal Hill tells us the Downtown West construction could take another two weeks to a month.

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