After some residents of subdivisions located next to Lafayette High School in Wildwood complained about Lafayette students leaving their cars on subdivision roads during the day, the city's Board Of Public Safety members recommended increasing the number of parking restrictions around the school. Wildwood city council members have discussed the matter during their last two meetings, and Monday evening took steps to add new 3-hour parking restrictions during school days to the following streets:
- Westglen Farms Drive (Clayton Road to Oak Crest Manor Lane)
- Wood Dale Ridge Court
- Edge Wood Manor Lane
Wildwood's Director of Public Works Ryan Thomas said St. Louis County Police Department-Wildwood Precinct Capt. Kenneth Williams set up a meeting this Friday with Lafayette Principal John Shaughnessy to explore other options prior to the new school year.
Thomas said at the June 25 city work session that parking restriction signs in Dartmouth Crossing Subdivision predate when Wildwood was incorporated as a city. To provide service and relief to homeowners there, no vehicle can be left on the subdivision's streets for more than 3 hours during school days. He said this generally allows delivery drivers or maintenance workers to complete their projects with homeowners, and does not encourage student parking.
This past school year, when Lafayette students began parking deeper into the Dartmouth Crossing Subdivision, city officials put up more restricted parking signs; however student drivers just started parking in other nearby subdivisions east of the school, Thomas said. That's when city officials started getting new complaints from a fresh batch of citizens about parking issues during school days.
"More signage in expanded areas is going up, and at some point, students won't want to walk that far," Thomas said.
He said West Glen Farms subdivision homeowners cited problems with students parking on their lawns, in addition to littering and loitering.
Can the Rockwood Parking Pass Policy Be Altered?
Wildwood city council member David Geile, Ward 1, said he thought it was a problem coming from families who avoid securing parking passes. "It's the school's problem, they should address it," he said at the June 25 session.
However, Wildwood city council member Harry Lemay, Ward 3, said the parking problems seem to have started during the last two months of the school year, which coincides with when new drivers turn 16 and can officially drive.
Parking passes each year are issued during the summer prior to the school year starting, which does not include the youngest drivers who are not yet being counted.
Each Rockwood School District high school parking pass costs $180, which some students find hard to pay.
Rockwood families already were sent in June the parking permit application for students in 11th and 12th grades for the coming school year. At Eureka High School, for example, only seniors receive individual parking spaces. All other students must have at least one partner. Permits are not transferable and may only be used by the person(s) assigned to it. Underclassmen are not guaranteed a parking pass; it is determined by a lottery system.
Parking permit turn-in dates occur during the last week of July.
Seniors who partner up at Eureka High with fellow seniors for parking passes get an opportunity to earn the closest numberered spots in the parking lots.
Monies collected from parking permit fees go toward parking lot maintenance and improvements, as well as "other programs that benefit kids," according to Rockwood materials distributed last month to parents.