It's easy to tell that classes started this week at Northern Michigan University - there are a lot more people moving around town.
That movement includes foot, bicycle and motor vehicle traffic, with the city streets being a little more congested than usual.
Then following Labor Day, public school buses will be added to the mix Tuesday and we'll be flowing full speed ahead into the school year.
With all this added traffic and people moving around town, all residents - not just students - need to be extra careful when driving or walking around town.
Many of the NMU students are new to town, as well, so they might not be paying as much attention as they should be to all the traffic signs and potential "danger spots," such as busy entrances and exits to parking lots and businesses.
When you add school buses, there are several other precautions drivers must be reminded of as they share the road with the frequently stopping yellow buses.
The main rule to remember is to give your full attention to driving, not talking on the phone, fiddling with the radio or conversing with passengers.
Bus drivers may be new to their routes, too, so they could be making some unexpected stops for students as they get accustomed to their routes.
When kids are waiting to be picked up by the bus or being dropped off be especially alert, as the youngsters often are excited about the new school year and might not be as careful as they should be
Parents need to remind their children about bus safety rules, as well, which includes listening to the instructions of the bus driver and using extra caution when entering and exiting the bus.
While many residents of the area bemoan the passing of summer - especially when the season was less than stellar - when the school year begins, but it is a time of new beginnings and fresh starts for students and all of us need to make it as safe a time of the year as possible.