To the Editor submitted by Brian Gillott of Hillside Rd in response to Dr. Chris Winters’s letter,
Dr. Winters, while we all prefer a long-term solution to the GHS drop-off and pickup congestion on Hillside Road, an immediate solution must occur. As you freely admit in your own letter, parents illegally double park along student street parking, which combined with a narrow street, completely blocks traffic near the school for 20-30 minutes each morning and afternoon.
I live on Hillside Road farther down the road, beyond the school zone and in a section of the street that prohibits street parking altogether. However, the traffic problems at the GHS end of Hillside Road have become such a quagmire, and yet have such an obvious and simple solution, that I feel compelled to continue to opine.
In the short run, if non-residential parking was prohibited during 7:00-10:00 am and 2:00-4:00 pm, drivers could pull over into that lane, currently occupied by parked cars, to drop off kids or enter queues, enabling other cars to go around – rather than the current double parking/street closure mess.
On any given day, there are 60-70 vacant parking spots on GHS property, so plenty current options for student parking on premises. In addition, the overlooked contingency here are the remaining 1,400+ students and parents whose logistics would improve with a smooth flow of cars at drop off and dismissal.
A flowing traffic would benefit both those commuting by car as well as faster bus processing for those traveling by bus. Time based parking restrictions are already in place on Maher Avenue in town, for similar reasons, and are quite successful.
Dr. Winters also acknowledges, “Parents make illegal maneuvers, they pull into driveways, they double park.” However, the police are completely passive in front of GHS enforcing those traffic flow rules, which is quite a contrast to the efficient and active police presence directing traffic at the other schools in town.
Finally, MISA Building plans dictate, “Parent drop-off and pick-up for the school will be moved to the rear of the building at the new lobby entrance to improve safety on Hillside Avenue (Road) and improve the separation of bus and car traffic.”
With student street parking removed, there would be more room for an overflow lane for cars to queue up on the side of the road without blocking through-traffic as they are now.
It is imperative for the immediate and near future, eliminate student parking and improve drop-off and dismissal logistics at GHS.