(Posted Aug. 13, 2015)
By Sandi Latimer, Staff Writer
A new traffic pattern for buses will greet students, teachers, staff and parents when classes resume at Madison-Plains Local Schools on Aug. 17.
The traffic pattern at the intermediate and elementary school was redesigned over the summer in the name of safety. Up until now, motorists entered and exited the parking lot anywhere from Linson Road. Numerous accidents occurred under this old pattern.
Goals of the new traffic pattern are to improve safety and create more parking spaces, not only for the school day but also for after-school activities.
The big change involved setting up parking blocks where the front rows of parking were. This creates an entrance pattern at the far end of that parking lot. Buses will be able to drop off and pick up students in front of the intermediate building, and exit the parking lot at the end of the parking blocks by the elementary building.
The new pattern applies to buses. Elementary and intermediate parent pick-up and drop-off zones remain the same, Superintendent Tim Dettwiller explains on the district’s website, www.mplsd.org, where a graphic of the new pattern is displayed.
“However, while we understand children need to stay after school from time to time to work with their teachers, parking to pick up students from the office is prohibited between 2:45 p.m. and 3:20 p.m. for safety reasons,” he wrote.
Students will not be allowed to walk through the lot to find a parked car.
Parking close to Linson Road has been eliminated, but parking closer to the intermediate building remains. Instead of head-in parking, it will be diagonal parking. New parking was created behind the fieldhouse where a building was removed and some new lots added. All parking is diagonal.
Dettwiller said the added parking should reduce complaints about parking problems for extracurricular events.
Some of the parking spaces have been designated for handicapped use with added room for wheelchairs to enter and exit vehicles.
All vehicles will enter at the far end, whether they are dropping off or picking up students, parking for the school day or for after-school events. This entrance is two-way.
The new parking pattern was designed with input from the Madison County Sheriff’s Office.
The student day begins at 7:45 a.m., and classes let out at 2:50 p.m. Junior high and high school building doors open at 7:30 a.m., while doors at the intermediate and elementary buildings open at 7:35 a.m.