Deputy Chief Davis issues an update on the school zones in Lamar.
I would like to take a few minutes of your day to speak about the school zones in Lamar. As most parents of school age children know, there have been some major changes this year; especially in the area of the West Primary School. We have received many positive responses to these changes and have noticed that the traffic in that area is moving in a more smooth and orderly fashion. One issue we have noticed is that when drivers are in the drop off lane and have dropped their children off, they are crossing a solid white line to leave. This is not permitted due to the danger of the traffic in the area. The recent changes make dropping off the students extremely safer and more expeditious and we would like to thank everyone for their patience with them. I would also like to thank West Primary Principal, Mary Clark, and Nurse, Kim Howarth, for being out there every morning; not only greeting the kids, but also helping to make sure they are dropped off safely.
Even with the changes that have been made, we continually seek to insure the safety of the children is maintained at every school. With this in mind, I would like to mention a couple of issues that we have seen which could be dangerous for the students. At the drop off in front of the Lamar Middle School, we seem to have an issue with vehicles dropping off students in the northbound lane of Gulf Street. The drivers are stopping in the middle of the street and letting students out. First of all, this causes the students to walk across the middle of the street to the school instead of using a cross walk where it is safer. This then causes traffic to be backed up; not only for the northbound lane, but for the south as well, while the drivers wait for the students to clear the street. As I said, it is not safe for the students and it also causes traffic issues, which has ended with some confrontations between drivers. Please use the drop off zone in front of the Middle School on the west side of the street or in another area where the students can use the cross walks to cross the streets.
As many know, we monitor the speeds of vehicles using Radar. We have seen a great improvement of vehicles obeying the school speed zones when approaching the school. However, we have seen a slight increase in the speeds of vehicles leaving the school after dropping off their children. Please remember the reduced speed restriction is for both coming to and leaving the schools. We know that drivers are on a schedule to drop off children, get to work, as well as other appointments. It is our mission to maintain a safe environment for the students. If you have any suggestions to assist us in this, please contact us at the police department.