Patrols upped around school

Reckless drivers, parking issues concern parents of Atkinson Elementary School students.
Alissa Widman Neese
Dec 8, 2013
Different year, different school building, similar problems.

Atkinson Elementary School is the latest Fremont Schools building to incite reports of nearby reckless drivers and congested traffic at drop-off and pick-up times, according to a Fremont police report from Nov. 26.

At least one person has voiced concerns about student safety to the district’s safety services director, Fremont police Chief Tim Wiersma said.

When police patrolled the area this past week at dismissal time, however, traffic flow appeared normal.

“It’s not out of the ordinary for people to call with complaints, but at times increased police presence takes care of the situation,” Wiersma said.

In years past, other district buildings have also been targeted as problem areas, he said.

Several years ago, Stamm Elementary School rerouted its surrounding traffic patterns to remedy congestion issues. More recently, Otis Elementary School implemented similar changes to improve parking for buses and cars.    

“This is just another school in the series,” Wiersma said. “Right now, our focus is on Atkinson, but hopefully police presence will do it. We’ll be checking on it more often”

Traffic-related issues aren’t unique to Fremont Schools.

As more parents choose to drive their children to-and-from school instead of using buses, increased traffic is becoming a problem for many area districts.

A possible solution: Safe Routes to School, a state-funded initiative striving to create safer pathways for students and parents to walk or bike to-and-from area school buildings. The goal is to decrease the number of parent drivers, while also encouraging healthy exercise.

Fremont Schools submitted a grant proposal to the program this past year, superintendent Tracy McCaudi said.

District officials and a newly formed committee are now working with the Ohio Department of Transportation to gather information and develop plans, McCaudi said.

“Hopefully, by next year, we’ll be awarded monies for some infrastructures enhancements throughout the district,” McCaudi said. “That could include sidewalks, crosswalks, signage or other things suggested by the committee or the transportation department”

The Nov. 26 police report was the only documented incident involving Atkinson Elementary School this school year, a Fremont police records clerk said.

Comments

2cents

In my day we rode a thing called a school bus. It seems that in todays world, my now late teen was driven every day by her mom. Schools need to plan for this when building new facilities. It is what it is!

Simple Enough II

Ah, good old Fremont school district, instead of setting up committees with parentsand using a common sense approach, but nooooo we need a grant to hire folks not familiar with our communities or neighborhoods to give a cookie cutter study. This is why I will not support a school levy, common sense has gone the way of the dinosaur.

KURTje

Like the 1rst sentence. Applied to my school also. Looking back we squealed tires, drove reckless. It is the nature of the beast.

hat-trick

More parents are choosing to drive their kids to school rather than take a bus? Maybe the reporter should have done her homework. Parents aren't "choosing" to drive their kids to school in Fremont, they were told they had to if they live within 2 miles of the school the child is attending. This was done years ago when they eliminated bussing for those who lived within 2 miles. The alternative to them being driven to school is walking or riding a bike down busy county roads without sidewalks. This grant thing is a joke. Why not focus on getting bussing back instead of spending money on promoting kids to walk or bike to school? The kids who are close enough and don't have to walk/ride on busy roads already walk/ride bikes to school.