New plan will allow student drop-off on University side

March 29, 2006, midnight | By Lois Bangiolo | 18 years, 3 months ago

Current drop off "just doesn't work"

Blair and the PTSA are working on a plan to allow parents to safely drop off students on the University Blvd. side of the school, a location more convenient for many parents. Currently, the only authorized drop-off point is in the Colesville parking lot, but many parents chose to leave students in the morning in the University Blvd. parking lot, creating dangerous congestion.

Image of the proposed student drop-off plan.
Courtesy of Sam Stokes

According to Sam Stokes, co-chairman of the pedestrian safety committee of the PTSA, the issue of student drop-off has been a concern for some time. The PTSA previously helped to institute placing cones in the Colesville parking lot to restrict traffic to one lane. These cones are meant to prevent parents from passing other cars and creating unsafe situations for staff and students entering the school.

Though parents are not allowed to drop students on the University Blvd. side of the school, many find it more convenient. "Parents are not going to circle around" when it is quicker and easier to drop students off on the University Blvd. side, said Blair business manager Jim Funk, who is in charge of a new plan. The current method of student drop-off "just doesn't work," as parents continue to drop off their children either in the student parking lot or on University Blvd. itself, both dangerous options causing congestion and potential accidents, Funk said.

The current plan, which is still under development, entails parents entering the student parking lot from either direction and driving around into the bus area directly in front of the school. Cars driven by parents will be separated from the buses by a row of cones. A security guard will be stationed at the entrance of the student parking area to direct traffic.

The cones and signs are on order to place in the parking lot to help direct traffic, but may be replaced with less temporary measures if this traffic management proves successful. "I don't want to spend a lot of money on something that may not work. If it does work, we can put something more permanent in," said Funk.

Before the plan can be implemented, it must receive approval from the MCPS transportation department to ensure that it does not interfere with buses. These new measures should be initiated in the next few weeks, according to Funk.

Lois Bangiolo. Lois Bangiolo was born on March 14, pi day, an auspicious date as she is now in the math-science magnet. In addition to writing for Silver Chips Online she runs track and is secretary of the MBHS Key Club. More »

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