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Student Parking Near Lafayette High Gets More Restricted

Spillover parking in subdivisions near Lafayette High School in Wildwood will be prohibited in more and new areas near the school. The issue becomes options for drivers who turn 16 during the later half of the year.

After some residents of subdivisions located next to 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:

  1. Westglen Farms Drive (Clayton Road to Oak Crest Manor Lane)
  2. Wood Dale Ridge Court
  3. Edge Wood Manor Lane

Wildwood's Director of Public Works Ryan Thomas said 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 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 , 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.

Eileen Tyrrell July 10, 2012 at 06:46 PM
Julie: Is it possible to get more specifics on "programs that benefit kids" and the parking lot maintenance? At a recent RSD BOE meeting, it was stated and discussed that NO MAINTENANCE was in the budget for 2012/2013. Thank you for your efforts.
Julie Brown Patton (Editor) July 10, 2012 at 06:58 PM
Eileen, I will try. Thank you.
Lisa Hunt July 10, 2012 at 09:37 PM
If nearby subdivision HOA boards would allow students to park in their subdivisions (assign a spot) could they lawfully charge students? The monies collected could go to into the subdivision HOA account.
Julie Brown Patton (Editor) July 10, 2012 at 09:45 PM
That's a creative suggestion, Lisa. I will ensure Wildwood city officials know you brought it up. Perhaps the city attorney, Rob Golterman, could provide them with legal feedback on it. Although, I'm not sure if the subdivisions have enough room to designate spots, from what I saw.
Steve Kasten July 11, 2012 at 01:57 AM
It is a shame that Rockwood continues to spend money on everything but the kids. There is room at all schools for more parking to meet the needs of kids, but it is spent on more administration and other items. Just try and find the parking lot money. I dare you.
Tim Woerther July 11, 2012 at 06:21 PM
The suggestion of HOA's charging for parking spots would be possible if the land was on private property and not on public streets. Other considerations would apply as well, but the action taken by the City Council applies to the public streets in the area outlined in the article
Julie Brown Patton (Editor) July 11, 2012 at 08:50 PM
Thank you, Mayor Woerther, for pointing out the considerations of public versus private streets. That's a good point.
Eileen Tyrrell July 12, 2012 at 01:28 AM
Excellent point; one that can get over looked in the debate of this sensitive issue. Emerald Forest Homeowners Association, Inc HAD parking problems for a number of years. Our subdivision is located directly next door to the Eureka High School and there is even a direct path to the high school. Residents and City officials worked together and proposed solutions to the residents. Residents were surveyed and the solution most supported was implemented. "No Parking from 11am to 1pm on School Days". However the problem just moved to other parking areas near by. Students park at Schenuks and then walk along the 109 to EHS or get picked up by a friend. They also use the Park and Ride across from QT which overflows out to the streets because commuters also use this lot. As of the start of the 2011/2012 school year, an expanded parking lot was finished. With the new fee of $180 per space, there are open spaces. This is a community problem and every aspect of the community involved should come to the table; Neighbors/Citizens, City officials and School officials. Until then, it will not be solved.

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