Eagle elementary school trying to solve traffic | VailDaily.com

Eagle elementary school trying to solve traffic

Katie Drucker
Eagle, CO Colorado

EAGLE, Colorado ” Brush Creek Elementary School in Eagle, Colorado has a traffic problem.

The combination of parents driving children to school, the school nearly being at capacity and people driving past to work creates a traffic bottleneck, Police Chief Rodger McLaughlin said.

This inconvenient and potentially hazardous traffic issue has generated spirited debate among families, the school, the district and the town.

“It is frustrating,” said Kathy Calton, the PTA president. “But the main focus is parents dropping off in dangerous places.”

Roxie Deane, a Brush Creek grandmother and a Eagle town board member agrees.

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“The No. 1 thing is safety,” said Deane.

Deane ” and Eagle town engineer Tom Gosiorowski ” says drop-off should start at 7:30 a.m. rather than 7:45 a.m.

“The town would really encourage kids into the school earlier,” said Gosiorowski.

But Anne Heckman, the school’s principal, said that isn’t an option.

“It is not just me being a big ‘meanie,'” said Heckman.

Heckman said teachers have a negotiated agreement that they do not have to arrive until 7:40 a.m. ” making supervision a problem for an earlier drop-off. She also cites no place to put students before they report to class because the cafeteria is not big enough, the gym floor would get wet and dirty, and the hallways would be a supervision nightmare.

Red Hill Elementary School, Gypsum Elementary School and Eagle Valley Elementary School all have drop-off time of 7:30 a.m., said Deane.

Deane also suggests changing school boundary lines so some Brush Creek students would attend Eagle Valley Elementary School, which is under capacity.

But the Eagle County School District says changing boundaries is not a desirable because it could disrupt families and children’s education.

Calton suggests the school district provide more busing to alleviate traffic. Heckman agrees this would be a nice solution ” but explains it is not feasible due to lack of funding.

Meanwhile, a police officer has been directing traffic and acting as a crossing guard at the intersection of Eagle Ranch and Sylvan Lake roads.

The school also will tell kids about the health and environmental benefits of walking, riding the bus or carpooling.

“The best solution lies with the kids themselves,” said Heckman.

Signs telling drivers it’s illegal to park or stop near the rosswalk will be put up.

“What happens out there now is craziness, but it is not illegal,” said McLaughlin.

The fire lane in front of the building is going to be actively policed. It will be OK to pull-up in this lane but parking will be prohibited.

The school and police department are also enforcing improper use of the school parking lot ” such as nearby residents parking and leaving their cars there ” to free-up some spaces.

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