Parents hear school traffic survey results

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Safety: T-Board study makes recommendations

By Tris DeRoma

Parents who have children attending the Canyoncito Montessori School recently got a briefing by the county’s transportation board on the results of the board’s latest traffic survey.

The board conducted the survey in response to a Nov. 2 car accident that involved an out-of-control-vehicle that ended up crashing in the school’s parking lot.

No one was injured in the one-car accident, but to many parents and school officials, the accident was just one incident in a long line of warnings that the school may need the board’s help.

Sandwiched between Rose Street and Canyon Road, school officials and parents have been complaining for years about drivers ignoring posted speed limits, as well as the fact that many drivers seem to be oblivious that there is a school operating in the area.

“Drivers using Canyon Road between 15th Street and Central Avenue are likely unaware that the Canyoncito Montessori School is located along this stretch of the road, and many travel at higher speeds,” concerned parent David Clark said through a statement he presented to the board.

During the meeting, board officials updated the parents on what the traffic survey outside the school revealed and what it means as far as their children’s future safety and welfare is concerned.

The study suggested speed limit enforcement between 8 a.m. and 8:30 a.m., 12:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Canyon and Rose would go a long way toward preventing the type of accidents that scared the Montessori officials and parents into action.

“Additionally, adding a centerline stripe on Rose Street will help to calm traffic speeds on this street,” a statement in the traffic study read.

The study also noted that current renovations going on at the United Church are also playing a part in the recent “close calls” between vehicle traffic and children being picked up and dropped off at the school, especially on Canyon Road.

“The school should provide an area for drop-off and pick-up that allows for vehicles to pull through in a forward direction, so no backing is required,” said a statement in the traffic study. “The current drop off and pick up location on Canyon is not safe since vehicles are required to back up.”  

As for the Rose Street entrance, the study suggested changing it so it can be an area where parents don’t have to back into the street. It also noted that the United Church should include in its current renovation plans another pickup and drop off area that conforms to the “drive through” method.

“As the church plans for more building expansion and renovations, another drop off and pick up area will need to be identified to allow for these improvements,” the study read.

The Montessori parents that attended the presentation, which took place Dec. 6, liked what they heard.

“We’re very pleased that the transportation board and the county are taking this very seriously, and we’re very pleased about that,” Clark said.

“I think it went very well, they’ve been very responsive,” said Montessori headmaster Mary Ann Schnedler. “We are off to a good start.”