Traffic flow problem at Morenci Elementary 2012.01.25

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Whenever Morenci Elementary School dean of students Mary Fisher sees a child nearly get hit by a car in the school’s front circle drive, she knows she has to continue working with parents about safety rules.

Fisher knows she’s made strides and most parents are abiding by rules, but not everyone is paying attention.

“It’s been a real issue for us,” she said. “We’re just trying to do the best we can do to keep our kids safe.”

Changes haven’t come easily. At one time in the past, parents volunteered to direct traffic and keep cars out of the circle drive in the afternoon. They were sometimes met with verbal abuse.

“Convenience has to take second place to safety,” said Morenci Chief of Police Larry Weeks, who has helped with the issue.

The situation can become very chaotic—particularly in the afternoon—and patience is needed, Chief Weeks added.

Fisher has issued separate instructions for morning and afternoon traffic.

A.M.—When dropping off a child in heavy traffic, advance past the school toward the end of the drive before stopping. This will allow additional cars to enter the drive and avoid a traffic backup into Locust Street.

If a parent needs to go into the school, the vehicle should be parked in a parking spot rather than blocking traffic in the drive.

The newer parking area on the west end of the school can also be used.

P.M.—The circle drive is blocked in the afternoon with traffic cones, but Fisher has seen some drivers work their way around them. One day she watched a vehicle back into the drive.

Fisher prefers that cars line up along Page Street to pick up children or use the parking lot on the west end.

Some parents park on Locust Street in front of the school. When that’s done, she urges parents to park in the lane closest to the school so children don’t have to “J-walk” across traffic.

Some parents park a block away on Burley Street to avoid the heavy traffic near the school.

When the school was constructed in the 1950s, most students who lived in town walked to school and the size of the front drive wasn’t an issue.

That brings to mind one other solution to the traffic problem.

“Parents could let them walk to school,” Fisher said.

  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2017