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Traffic is First Test of the Day at Sanderson H.S.

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RALEIGH — Students, faculty and staff at Raleigh'sSanderson High School at Wakefieldhave a test first thing every day, and it happens on the street and in the parking lot.

It is a test of their driving skills and alertness. Traffic jams occur every weekday morning on Falls of Neuse in front of the new high school. Several students say their education has included a short course on accidents.

It's an ironic circumstance, since at the school's former location on Sanderson Drive, traffic problems also plagued the students, faculty and neighborhood residents.

The student body was moved to the new school at Wakefield while the initial Sanderson building is being renovated. When the renovations are complete, students in that attendance area will be moved back, and Wakefield will serve the population in its attendance area only.

The Sanderson building may have been temporarily left behind, however, but the traffic woes were not.

Cars speeding along the two-lane Falls of Neuse come out of curves into stopped traffic.

A driver slammed into a line of traffic Wednesday. Sanderson student Valerie Hoy was caught in the chain reaction.

"His back end was just gone, it was totally smashed in and my front end wasn't very hurt, the bumper's pushed in but that was it. The car behind him, the one that hit us, the front was just totally gone," Hoy recounted.

Something that might help is a traffic light just installed in front of the school. Monday was its first full working day. TheN.C. Department of Transportationengineers say they put installation of this light on a fast track because of complaints from the public.

DOT engineers admit that Falls of Neuse handles far more traffic than it was designed for. Neither the state nor Raleigh plans to widen or improve the road.

John Weldon's Pedal and Paddle store is just down the road from the high school.

"It's just a country road and the kind of development that we're seeing is a whole lot more then the road was designed to take," Weldon says. "The result? Every now and then, there's a bumper cruncher, you know."

Falls of Neuse will stay the same while developments such as Wakefield grow.

In the meantime, police and the DOT say everyone will just need to slow down.


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