Tuesday, March 8


Washington-Monroe School traffic issues addressed          Send a link to a friend

[MARCH 8, 2005]  Concerned parents and school administration from Washington-Monroe came knocking at the door of City Hall. They were petitioning to turn Pekin Street, between Sheridan and Sherman Streets, into a one-way street for the one block in front of the school.

While openly expressing concern for the safety of our children, city aldermen were resistant to changing the street for one block only, calling it a drastic change.

The school administration has fought a losing battle to get some parents to practice cooperation and consideration when dropping off and picking up students. Parents' driving has endangered their own children, as well as other children on foot, in addition to tying up morning traffic.

Washington-Monroe Principal Rebecca Cecil gave testimony with parents Wanda Fry, Barbara Follis, Mario Bonaparte and Angela Howerton. Crossing guards and drivers have witnessed a number of near misses when parents have dropped off children in midblock and the children run across the street in front of other cars, or vehicles are forced to back up because of double-parked vehicles.

School administration has addressed the problems in the past. A one-way traffic pattern was set up for parents to practice. It worked for a while.

Parents have been reminded of traffic laws and signs have been posted around the school, but they are eventually ignored or forgotten and the problems begin again. 

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Principal Rebecca Cecil said that the presence of police monitoring traffic in the afternoon this past week and the numerous tickets that were issued made a significant difference. She thanked Lincoln Police Chief Robert Rawlins for the action.

Cecil said the last few nights after school have been marvelous because of the police presence.  "We will continue our efforts," she said, and hopefully that will eliminate the problem.

Alderman Jonie Tibbs suggested that some morning monitoring might be important for a bit too. She said that the presence of officers has made it known to those drivers, "I'm here and this is how it's going to be."

The one-way street request was denied 8-1. Tibbs favored the street change.

Policing the area at traffic times will continue.

[Jan Youngquist]

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