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Eugene 4J may add more crossing guards, transport more students under proposal

 Exterior of metal-sided building with 4J school logo.
Brian Bull
Exterior of the 4J administration offices in Eugene.

The Eugene 4J School District is considering the first major revision to its student transportation plan in more than 30 years.

Eugene 4J uses a list of traffic hazards to decide whether elementary students who live less than one mile from their school, or middle school students who live less than one and a half miles away from their school, should be included on a bus route. Transportation Director Arthur Hart told the school board this month that the district’s transportation plan hadn’t seen a significant update since 1992.

“Eugene was significantly smaller back then,” he said. “There's been a lot of consolidation, changes to the way we view schools. The city and county - they've made changes to how roads work, they've put in sidewalks where we never had them before. (There is) more access and less access as streets have become busier.”

The plan will impact at least 727 students, mostly in elementary and middle school.

The district identified River Road as a hazard impacting several schools because of high traffic levels and crashes. Chambers Street, 18th Avenue and Bailey Hill Road were also identified as hazard sites because of how much busier they are now compared to when the original plan was created.

The schools that will likely see the most changes are McCornack Elementary and Howard Elementary, where a combined 242 students will be affected.

The district plans to address the recently identified hazards by adding more students to bus routes, or adding crossing guards to areas where the district does not have enough drivers to transport additional students.

The 4J Board will discuss and potentially vote on the proposed revisions to the transportation plan at its April 17 meeting.

Rebecca Hansen-White joined the KLCC News Department in November, 2023. Her journalism career has included stops at Spokane Public Radio, The Spokesman-Review, and The Columbia Basin Herald.