Proposed parking restriction targets morning congestion at Parker

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Proposed parking restriction targets morning congestion at Parker

August 01, 2015 - 14:54
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To alleviate congestion in front of Parker Junior High School, parking would be restricted during a one-hour morning student drop-off period under a plan proposed by the Flossmoor Police Department.

Police recommend the village make the south side of School Street a designated student drop-off lane on school days between 7 and 8 a.m. Parking would be prohibited in that lane during those hours.

The proposal will be submitted to the Flossmoor Village Board on Monday. The meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. at the village hall, 2800 Flossmoor Road.

Parker staff and parents took part in discussions leading to the proposal, Deputy Police Chief Tod Kamleiter said in a memo to the village board.

Changes in starting and dismissal times at all of the Flossmoor District 161 schools last year led to “quite a traffic management challenge” at Parker, Kamleiter said.

“During the school year, staff, school personnel and residents noticed a dramatic increase in vehicle traffic in the area of Parker Junior High School,” he said. “This adjusted time change seemed to increase the number of parents who drove their children to and from school.”

 Earlier this summer, Kamleiter met with former Parker Principal Lynn Westerlund and several parents from a focus group formed to address the traffic situation. From these discussions, it became clear that a formal student drop-off procedure was never developed at Parker, he said.

“We came to the consensus that if a plan were developed and implemented, we could alleviate traffic congestion around the school, making student drop-off and pick-up more efficient and much safer for students,” Kamleiter said.

The proposal calls for the creation of a student drop-off lane on the south side of School Street, beginning at Braemar Road, directly west of Parker, and extending to Douglas Avenue, on the east.

Prohibiting parking on that side of School Street between 7 and 8 a.m. will “free up the south side of the street creating an active drop-off lane for parents,” Kamleiter said.

School Street is already a one-way street, from west to east, during student drop-off and pick-up times at Parker.

In addition, he asked for changes to signs on the west side of Douglas between School Street and Flossmoor Road. Under the proposal, signs that currently say “no parking” would be changed to say “no stopping, standing or parking.” He said that change would discourage student drop-offs along Douglas and encourage use of the new lane designated for that purpose on School Street.

If the village board approves the parking restrictions, new signs will be installed along School Street and Douglas and District 161 will send out letters to staff and parents explaining the updated procedures.