Friday, May 13, 2016

An Open Letter to the Traffic Geniuses at District 93

So, School District No. 93, you got your bond to build a third high school. Whether or not I’m “fur it or again’ it” doesn’t matter. It’s done. Here’s what I want to talk about: Traffic.

Has anyone in the school district office or on the school board tried to pick up or drop off students at Hillcrest High School or Sandcreek Middle School? And if you have, have you noticed traffic around the schools is a bit of a mess?

OWEN STREET: If you’re not getting run over by an aggressive parent dropping off a kid, you’re going to have to deal with a fleet of buses squeezing into a really, really small space with all those cars. And there’s only one way out.

THE DERRALD AVENUE PARKING FUNK: So you decide to take Derrald Avenue into the school complex. Don’t do it at the beginning or end of school – you’re going to get run over or blocked in or otherwise bothered  by backups in the parking lot. Again, there’s only two ways out.

THE EAST PARKING LOT FUNK: Abandon all hope, ye who don’t want to turn left on Sunnyside or, worse yet, think cutting through the parking lot to Derrald Avenue is a good idea. Once again, only two ways out.

Maybe that doesn’t sound all that bad to you.

If it doesn’t, you haven’t lived it.

I have children at both schools. If I want to pick up a child at one school, I take a certain route to that school. If I want to visit the other school, well, the same route doesn’t necessarily apply. Because there’s no way through campus. Just to it.

I am no traffic engineer. You ought to talk to a few of them, first for your existing campus in Ammon and second for your new campus. They can help you  look at your traffic situation and show you, with a little bit of smarts and a little bit of money, how to get traffic moving efficiently and safely.
I am no traffic engineer, but I’ve got some ideas you ought to show a professional. Maybe they’re worthwhile.

A – Derrald Avenue/Owen Street Connection. Why not put those streets through? Oh – I can hear it already. We don’t want traffic going through campus. It’s safer for the children. Those same children who already cross from the bus lot to the middle school on Owen Street, rather than on that non-trafficked bit of greenery to the west of the bus lot and south of the seminary buildings. Putting the streets through would give traffic another in and another out to the campus as a whole. Worried about speeders? I don’t know why. You’ve already got drivers blocking the tail end of Wen dropping kids off or trying to weave through the buses going out of the lot. Why not put the street through and give traffic a more natural flow out of the area?

B and C (combined) Lot Connection – Connect the high school parking lot to Owen Street and separate the bus traffic from that exit. Again, you’re giving traffic another way to go, away from the buses. Will people want to speed through the parking lot? Not any more than they want to speed out of the area on Owen Street. Separate the in and out traffic with a private road, put in as many speed bumps as you want. Just give us another in and out that doesn’t require circumnavigating Ammon to get to the schools.

D – Rawson Street Connection. Why not just connect Rawson Street to the middle school loop? Keep the loop as a one-way street, but let folks in and out at Rawson as well as at Owen, to ease congestion at Owen.

I know you’ll probably hear from folks on Rawson Street who don’t want the school traffic. Well, have them talk to the folks who live on Owen or Carolyn, and ask them if they’d like to see traffic eased a bit because there is another exit/entrance option.

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