Saturday, October 25, 2014

School looking for solutions to traffic issue

Traffic around Model Elementary School is worse this year.
Posted on Nov. 12, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Nov. 12, 2013 at 6:30 p.m.

GOSHEN — More parents of Model Elementary students are driving their kids to school this year, and that’s causing a traffic issue.

Goshen Schools’ assistant superintendent Bob Evans said that transportation cuts mean that more kids must walk to school instead of taking the bus.

“What we are finding is that parents would rather transport their kids than let them walk, so we are having more traffic,” Evans said.

This is happening at other Goshen schools too, but traffic is more of a problem at Model because cars are blocking city streets, according to Goshen Schools superintendent Diane Woodworth.

Evans said that Model principal Lynne Peters has developed a plan to keep traffic moving. But school officials worry that winter weather will cause even more parents to drive their children to school. If that happens, Evans said, traffic would get out of hand.

“We realized this was an issue on the first day of school,” Evans said. “We saw that it just wasn’t sustainable to have this much traffic backed up on the streets.”

On Tuesday afternoon, two parents who didn’t want to give their names said that they’ve seen more traffic during pickup and dropoff times at Model this year than in years past.

They wait about 15 minutes each afternoon to pick up their child, who is in third grade. Last year, they said, they waited less than 10 minutes.

School officials hope to reconstruct a road behind the school to allow more space for traffic. The area was used before a renovation to the school about eight years ago, Evans said, but since then the road has been covered up by grass.

Parts of the road are owned by the Goshen Little League and Goshen Christian Church, and both groups would need to give the school permission to use the area again. Evans said Tuesday that he is meeting with representatives from the Little League and the church to present the plan.

Evans also said that the cost of reconstructing the limestone road would be between $8,000 and $10,000. That money would likely need to come from the school corporation’s capitol projects fund, which is another fund that’s suffering due to property tax caps.

But Evans said that the school is primarily concerned with student safety and “will find a way to make this happen.”

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