The City of Alexandria has upgraded school zone flashers citywide, in advance of the 2017-2018 school year. Flashers slow traffic and alert motorists to the presence of students walking and biking to and from school. These improvements are part of continuing efforts to help keep students, crossing guards, teachers, parents, and other pedestrians safe.
The most significant improvement to the flashers is the installation of new time clocks with scheduled and real-time remote communications capabilities. This will allow traffic engineers to make adjustments to the school flasher schedule for each school remotely, rather than requiring a technician to manually adjust each flasher on-site. This flexibility will be especially valuable when schools have a change in schedule, such as a delayed opening due to inclement weather. Flashers will now reflect those adjustments, avoiding unnecessary speed limit changes when school is not in session.
The older time clocks required regular service by a technician to keep the times accurate. The new time clocks are synchronized nightly, ensuring they are always accurate.
As the new school year begins, motorists are reminded to obey the posted speed limits, yield to pedestrians in marked crosswalks, use designated school drop-off and pick-up areas, and stay alert in areas where students are present (particularly during morning and afternoon hours).