We noted these problems:
- Parents parking and blocking neighbors driveways
- Parents parking on both sides of Averill and blocking the street
- Children having to cross the street and go through traffic to get to their car or school
- Parents trying to park in bus parking / fire lane
- Additional buses will be coming to the school this year
- Supplemental parking (graciously offered by Trinity AME Church) and sidewalks to the church are not always able to be plowed or salted in time for school
Since our schools were all designed to be neighborhood schools in which students walked or biked to school, they were never designed to handle the volume of car traffic that presently exists.
It's not an ideal situation. Nothing is going to be "perfect" at this point, so we are forced to do the best with what we have. .
It seems that the best option at this point as suggested by the Lansing School District public safety officer agreed by all in attendance at the meeting is to make the following proposed changes:
- Make Averill a northbound one-way from Holmes or Starlight to Malibu during pick up and drop off times.
- Change the "no parking" zones to the resident side of Averill so that people can park on the school and park side of the street. ** NOTE ** This may be during certain times of the day only. We're trying to clarify this.
- This has been done successfully at several other schools and our City Transportation Engineer has worked with several schools in implementing these changes.
Positive implications of these changes:
- Parents will be able to drop off children on the right side of the Averill going north, so children will not have to cross traffic to get to school or to their car.
- Traffic may move more quickly and efficiently through Averill with potentially less headaches and less parking on side streets.
- Neighbors won't have their driveways blocked by parents during pick up and drop off.
Potential negative implications of these changes:
- Neighbors on Averill drive won't be able to park in front of their house but instead will have to park on the park/school side of the street.** NOTE ** Not sure if this is all the time or just during pick up and drop off.
- The traffic that formerly entered the neighborhood via Sandhurst may now be diverted elsewhere, potentially increasing traffic on Malibu, Starlight, and Continental.
- NOTE TO STARLIGHT RESIDENTS: I received word that surveys from the City Transportation Engineer have gone out to residents and that thus far there is not a consensus about the proposed traffic diversion changes on Starlight. Those changes would have prevented northbound left turns on Waverly from Starlight and prevented southbound entrances from Waverly onto Starlight. If those proposed changes were to take effect that would certainly mitigate the use of Starlight during pick-up and drop-off times.
I have asked our City Transportation engineer to be mindful of our goals to keep traffic from being diverted through the neighborhood as that has been an ongoing concern as well. We know that the pick-up and drop-off times are quite a nuisance to our Averill, Starlight, and Continental neighbors already.
We have been providing our feedback to the city and will continue to do so as this matter moves toward finalization. However, the decisions will be made by the city based on all the relevant public safety factors reported by all of us.
The biggest issue has been the safety of the children trying to navigate the traffic. Teachers and parents have witnessed several near-accidents and are very concerned about the safety of students. Those safety concerns will take precedence in the final decisions. Some people may experience some minor inconveniences, but hopefully we are removing the biggest inconveniences and improving safety for our children.
The current draft of the plan is provided below. Please feel free to provide your comments on this blog to share with our neighbors and partners.