Sunnyside Schools to test different approach with buses, railroads

A Sunnyside School District bus stops just before the railroad tracks at the intersection of Edison Avenue and Yakima Valley Highway on Tuesday Nov. 30.

The Sunnyside School District is going to be testing a change to their approach to railroads at two locations, Edison Ave and the Yakima Valley Highway and 16th St. and the YVH, to help ease congestion.

Both intersections have railroads that are placed very near a traffic light and current policy is that each bus must stop at the tracks to verify there are no trains.

That has caused significant backups at certain times during the day.

“These crossings impact bus arrival times at several schools, parents trying to drop off and pick up their children, and community members who are making their way to work,” said Director of Communications Jessica Morgan.

The test will have buses, on green lights, continue through the intersection without stopping at the railroad track. This is possible because with the working traffic light, state law does not require buses to stop.

Morgan said they will run the test for one week and if it seems successful, they could extend it for a second week. “We are going to test this possible solution and want to let the community know that they will see a change in how our buses approach these two intersections.”

Once the testing is complete, the district will decide whether to continue the behavior.

Kevin Rounce can be reached at 509-837-4500 ext 110 or email

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