Motorists, plan ahead, if you haven't already, for the start of the 2012-13 school year, which in Hillsborough County kicks off Aug. 21 with about 91,000 students expected to be riding to school on buses.
Add to the mix the parents who drive their kids to school, and the older students who drive themselves to school, not to mention the traffic to and from charter, private and parochial schools and daycare centers, and one can easily see the gridlock ahead.
Taking heed of the bell schedules for Greater Brandon area schools will help local motorists plan ahead for increased traffic. Here's some things to keep in mind, as noted on the Hillsborough County School District Web site:
- About 1,000 school buses will be on the roads school day mornings and afternoons transporting around 91,000 students to and from classes throughout the Hillsborough County School District, the nation's eighth-largest public school system.
- Bell times for Hillsborough public schools are posted online.
- For the most part, the opening bell sounds at 8 a.m., the closing bell at 2:15 p.m., for the district's elementary schools, including Brooker, Buckhorn, Colson, Dover, Frost, Kingswood, Limona, Mango, Mintz, Nelson, Schmidt, Seffner, Symmes, Valrico and Yates.
- As a general rule, the opening bell sounds at 9 a.m., the closing bell at 4:15 p.m., for the district's middle schools, including Burns, Giunta, Mann, McLane, Mulrennan and Turkey Creek.
- The bell schedule for Armwood, Bloomingdale, Durant, Newsome and Riverview high schools is 7:33 a.m. and 3 p.m. Brandon High School's bells ring at 7:40 a.m. and 3 p.m.
We'd like to hear from you, your experiences on the road, navigating the early morning and afternoon traffic patterns on school days. Got a tip to share? A gridlock to avoid? A concern to raise? Let us know in the comment box below.