Traffic is about to increase in Huntsville, with a new school year beginning Thursday and university students returning next week. 

Huntsville ISD is gearing up for the 2019-2020 school year, welcoming new and returning students, and more vehicles on the road. This will only increase as Sam Houston State students begin moving in Saturday and start classes next Wednesday.

The Huntsville Police Department wants to remind the community to be safe this week while everyone becomes adjusted to new routines.

“One of the things we stress is to be patient out there,” HPD Lt. Jim Barnes said. “There is going to be an increase in traffic and people are going to have to make adjustments when traveling to and from school.”

School zones will also be in effect around New Waverly, Alpha Omega and Huntsville ISD schools during dropoff and pickup hours. Citizens are reminded to pay attention to school buses. Vehicles are required to stop whether they are behind a bus or across the street from it when the bus’ stop sign and flashing lights are activated.

“Leave early and give yourself plenty of time to get where you need to go,” Barnes added. “If at all possible, take a different route and avoid driving near any of the campuses for a couple of weeks until people fall into a routine.”

Officers also encourage SHSU students to familiarize themselves with traffic changes on and around the university. Construction continues on the campus, on Sycamore Avenue and Sam Houston Avenue. Interstate 45 may pose a problem for some commuting students, so they are encouraged to check the delays and closures from the Texas Department of Transportation.

“The first week back will be chaotic,” Barnes said. “Just be safe out there and don’t let road rage get the best of you if you run into traffic problems. Expect delays and adjust your schedule.”

School start and dismissal times are as followed:

• Gibbs Pre-K Center and all elementary campuses: Start 7:55 a.m./ Dismissal 3:30 p.m.

• Huntsville Intermediate School: Start 7:45 a.m./ Dismissal 3:35 p.m.

• Mance Park Middle School: Start 7:40 a.m./ Dismissal 3:35 p.m.

• Huntsville High School: Start 7:40 a.m./ Dismissal 3:40 p.m.