Funds could provide traffic relief at Riverside
Traffic at Riverside Elementary School can get hectic at times.
Improvements to the traffic flow at the school on Riverside Green Drive are included in Issue 48, a 6.4-mill operating levy and $15.87 million bond issue set for the Nov. 6 ballot.
The school is served by only a few buses, but Annette Morud, district director of business affairs, said the traffic problem stems from a large number of vehicles at the school during drop-off and pick-up times.
"I think the problem at Riverside is, there is only one or two buses, so the majority of the kids are either walking or getting picked up by their parents," she said. "With so many kids going to something after school, a high percentage of parents are picking up their kids from school."
Traffic often lines up on the street before and after school, Morud said.
"It's just something that keeps getting worse all the time," she said.
Concerns from both parents and teachers stem from the school only having one entrance and exit driveway for all vehicles, information from Riverside Principal Connie Stitzlein stated.
The layout of the driveway is not conducive to the number of vehicles coming to the school and there are an inadequate number of parking spots to accommodate parents.
"Therefore, they are currently blocking the driveway and exiting their cars. This also is a safety issue with parents and students walking between cars and buses," the information stated.
The traffic lined up at the school also keeps buses from pulling up to the building to pick students up, Stitzlein said.
"I wouldn't say it's unsafe. We have crossing guards and teachers take the kids out. We've got a nice system," Morud said. "Parents pull up. There's not chaos, but I think if we can make it so we can get more cars off the street and more space on school property, we could make it safer. It's more prevention than anything. We want to make it safer and have it be a little more ordered."
A solution for the traffic flow at Riverside Elementary hasn't been worked out yet, Morud said, but the district did similar work at Indian Run and Deer Run elementary schools with funds from a 2008 bond issue.
"At this point I don't know what we'll do," she said. "At Deer Run, traffic is routed to the back of the school. Perhaps that is what we'll do there. With Indian Run, we have two curb cuts, but that's not an option at Riverside. It's more of how the pick-up lane will go to the back of the school to make it longer and have room."
Morud estimates the improvements at Riverside Elementary would cost about $200,000.
Other projects that will be covered by the bond issue, if it is approved by voters, include maintenance at all schools, technology throughout the district, equipment, the expansion of the commons at Davis Middle School and upgrades to the HVAC and fire alarm system at Deer Run Elementary.
The 6.4-mill operating levy is expected to fund the district, as is, through the 2016 fiscal year.
If approved by voters, Issue 48 would cost district residents an additional $213 per $100,000 of appraised home value annually.