Just because school is out doesn't mean drivers can ignore those flashing 20 mph speed limit signals.
Officials in Akron's Traffic Engineering Division are warning motorists that kids are still attending many elementary schools for summer meals and other events. These programs run at various times from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday all the way through Aug. 16.
"As with the normal morning and afternoon flashing of lights and slowing of traffic within the school zones during the regular school year, please be prepared for the same throughout the summer," Akron Traffic Engineer Adam Staller wrote in an emailed news release. "The speed limit within these zones during these periods is 20 mph and must be obeyed to maintain the safety of the children."
Akron Police Lt. Rick Edwards confirmed police will be enforcing those zones over the summer.
The lights will flash for the beginnings and ends of daily programs, including some schools that operate normal classes during the summer. The I Promise School, for example, has much shorter breaks than the rest of Akron Public Schools.
"That enforcement action over there would be almost year-round," Edwards said.
AAA Akron is also warning drivers to take extra care around schools, even when school is out for the summer.
"During summer break, children often play near or at their nearby schools and community centers," AAA Akron President Kevin Thomas said.
The first official day of school for Akron Public Schools' students in grades 1-9 is Aug. 29 while grades 10-12 and kindergarten return Sept. 3.
In other Akron traffic news, Main Street downtown between State and Bowery streets (by Lock 3 and the Akron Civic Theatre) will be closed to all traffic from Tuesday to Sunday for the Rib, White & Blue Festival. The closure will extend a block north to Mill Street from July 8 to July 13; the Italian-American Festival is July 11 to July 13.
Traffic engineers are advising drivers heading north to detour along E. Buchtel Avenue, S. Broadway and E. Mill Street.