Traffic jams and parking overflows are plaguing after-school pick-up at Westwood Elementary School.
The number of cars lining up after school has risen from an average of 85 per day last school year to 134 in September, according to Wellington police Lt. Jeff Shelton, who oversees the district’s safety officer program.
Problems arise from cars lining up on Union Street to make a left turn into the school’s parking lot, he said. Once that area becomes full, Shelton is advising drivers to continue down to Jones Street and use the parking lot’s north entrance.
“The parking lot is just too small,” he said. “One of my officers spoke with (principal Erica Ward) the other day and the school is going to try and work something out. Parents cannot line up on Union Street like this. They can’t impede the flow of traffic. Police, fire, or EMS would not be able to get through if we needed to.”
Shelton said he and other officers have suggested the school stagger its pick-up times.
At the Wellington board of education’s September meeting, Ward said drivers are also parking in moving lanes and driving in the wrong direction down Union Street.
“It’s legal for cars to park on the west side of the road,” Shelton said. “But cars are coming down and also blocking off the east side of the road. That’s a traffic jam. It has to stop or we’re going to have to start citing people. The school is working on it. It’s much more of a problem after school than in the morning. The problems come from the parking lot just not being big enough. We’re all working together on this.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.