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CNB 2015 Archives: Parking Congestion at Cold Spring School Complex Upsetting Parents, Guardians and Residents

School Supt. Comments on the Problem: Archives1


Earlier today on Cold Springs Drive,  both photos submitted by a parent



by William E. Cleary Sr. | CNBNewsnet CITY NJ (September 15, 2015)—Since the Cold Springs Pre-School and Elementary School opened earlier this month we have heard from a number of parents, guardians and residents about the traffic congestion on Cold Springs Drive in the morning when school opens and later in the day at school dismissal. 

Some parents have said it takes them as long as 40 minutes to drop their child off at the school

and pick them up. Because the congestion is so bad people are parking three and four blocks away from the school and walking their child to the complex. Others have said they are concerned that a fire engine or other emergency vehicle would not be able to use the street because of people parking on either side of Cold Springs Drive at those times of the day. 


Today Danielle Albertson Cathcart writes, “I have three children in the school. Third, Kindergarten and Preschool 3. I didn't leave the school this morning until 9:10. I dropped my first son off at 8:15 and didn't leave the property. Between drop off and pick up I am losing about an hour and a half a day from work. The worst part is the safety of the children and parents getting in and out of vehicles and crossing the street. We need the buses back ASAP! I am willing to pay a fee for the busses and I know others would too.”

Robin Pierman commented, “The curve in the road where Thompson Avenue meets Colds Springs Drive. On a normal day, it's difficult going around that bend trying to see through the tree/bushes of the end house. Now that school has started, there are cars parking all the way up to and on the bend leaving just enough room for one small car to get through on a 2-way street. Not to mention, that curb all along the bend is yellow (faded and needs a fresh coat of paint for sure, but you can still see it's somewhat yellow). There are cars parked all the way down in the right-hand side (heading toward Market from Thompson) and there are clearly no parking signs all the way down. Why??? Why is this ok? It's an accident waiting to happen whether it be a door opening as a car rides by or a child getting out on the drivers side in the middle of the street. There no longer are busses." 

“Why are Cold Springs School officials refusing parent the use of the drop off lane to keep it moving?! The buses used to drop off in the designated areas behind the school. Why are the parents not able to do so the same? It would be a lot safer for the parents/kids to go around back instead of running across a busy street. If Cold Springs officials won't allow that, can we at least have that curb painted a little brighter and another form of "no parking" to let these parents know! God forbid there's a fire or emergency because a fire truck surely won't fit through there,” said Pierman.

For years, the school district has bussed children to those schools but because of a $5 million budget deficit last year the district has done away with the busing except for kids living in Gloucester Heights and in Brooklawn. It cost the district $200,000 annually to fund the busing. 

RELATED: Gloucester City School Budget Deficit is $5 Million 


CNBNews contacted Gloucester City Public School Superintendent Joseph Rafferty today about the problem. His remarks are below followed by comments from the public.

Rafferty said, “The Cold Springs Staff and Administration, Gloucester City Police and the Fire Departments have been working to put into place the best process and plan that we can have to accommodate the students arriving and dismissal from Cold Springs School. We have been adapting the plan as we have seen issues and concerns developing.

"Each day  we have found ways to improve the overall performance of the process.”

 The parents/guardians have been outstanding, their patience with adapting to the new arrival and dismissal plan has been great. But just as the Gloucester City School District had to make changes to how students arrival and dismissal so have the parents/guardians had to make changes. Officer Doug Zeigler of the Gloucester City Police Department the School District’s SRO has attended meetings with other SROs from around Camden County and has expressed the same concerns that are happening here are also happening in other school districts in the area.”

 The staff and administration are working very hard to help and accommodate all the parents/guardians with their particular needs, but sometimes the general order of running such a big school such as Cold Springs must come first. The decision has to be for the greater good of all the students.”

The problems with the traffic patterns at Markets Street  and also the lights at Route 130 also are a problem that we are doing our best to adapt, we also have the concerns with the way that Cold Springs Drive drop off to Thompson Avenue even on a good day without traffic is a tough corner to turn into.”

In general the parents/guardians and the staff and administration have been working very hard, I would like to thank them all for their patience in dealing with this significant change. We are trying very hard, thank so much for your understanding,” he concluded.   

The Cold Springs School area is apparently not the only problem this year for school officials. The bus stop for children on Nicholson Road in Gloucester Heights is also a concern for parents.  

According to Kevin Kenney, the bus stop at Nicholson Road and Cornell Avenue is an accident waiting to happen. “ I can not believe school officials are allowing this to happen. Parents dropping their children off are parking their cars on both sides of Cornell Avenue. As a result, emergency vehicles can not get through the street. Parents standing on the sidewalk at the corner blocking the view of drivers who are trying to enter Nicholson Road from Cornell Avenue.  Trash left on the ground near the bus stop by some of these individuals.  Kids left alone running up and down the street. Empty Cars parked in front of driveways left idling. I like to ask school officials why can't the Nicholson Road playground further down the street be used as the bus stop since most of the children come from outside of the Heights?”

Comments on the topic from CNBNews Facebook page: 

Lynn Callahan --Yes I agree with everyone we need to do something to get the buses back.. I have many friends that have to take a bus to pick their children up from school Then have to take a bus back home because it's too far of a walk for the little ones. Not every parent has a car. Things need to change asap.

Kathleen McHugh-- you need to get market and broadway deemed as hazardous roads with tractor-trailers and NJ transit buses. Contact the county. I'm sure they have plenty of traffic studies done on those roads. If those roads are deemed hazardous they have to provide busing. What makes Market and Broadway even worse is that there has been no crossing guard at that intersection the last week or so. The board across the board cuts doesn't help the families of the school.  Get your act together.

Christine Kain--My mom lives on Thompson Ave. That street is a residential area that is usually a very quiet street. Now it's bombarded with people speeding up and down the street to drop off and pick up children. It's going to end up causing an accident or someone getting hit by a car. Besides the school needing to make drastic adjustments for the traffic and parking issues, residents of Gloucester (some not all) need to respect the speed limit and stop signs of the area. We're all frustrated with the issues right now, but it doesn't give anyone a right to speed down the streets at 40 mph or so.

Alma Hope Wyeth --There is not enough room with parking on both sides trying to go from Market down to Thompson. The city better do something soon. School bus darted out in front of me.

Troy Tucker --Let the overpaid, recently receiving raises, district leaders figure it out. The regular citizens would rather see those leaders get a pay cut for the purpose of our children safety, buses and education! I guess higher education means less common sense.

Mark Foster Sr.-- I know market st is a horror trying to get up to the school and the other way also

Misty J Grant-- Had my mirror hit driving thru the side streets, people are not obeying the signs and driving slowly where pedestrians are.

Timothy McManus --Busses will not be back this year. They had to make cuts because of the funding the state failed to give us. On top of losing busses, 35 people also lost jobs. It's a screwed up situation but what's done is done at this point.


reader said...

They cut the busing but mr raff got his raise and five new administrators were hired. Go figure.

Mary said...

I have a question for the superintendent and the police. Can you tell us why you did not have a plan in place before the opening of the school? You had the entire summer to work on it. As did the police. What will you do if there is an emergency at the complex at these congested times. You are playing with the lives of our children. Shame on you.

The parking situation at those schools was bad enough when the kids were bussed to it. You had to expect it would get worst if you did away with the buses.

My suggestion would be have stager starting times for the two schools. Also utilize the back of the schools for parking of staff. Why should they park out in front of the buildings. Or open up the grounds across from the school were the high tension wire are and let staff park there.

Can you imagine what the parking situation is going to be like when they open up the new middle school. God Bless the residents living in that area. I pity you.

Kelly Rodgers said...

Our daughter attends Holy Trinity in Westville and they have a morning and dismissal car line routine that is so quick and safe and easy.parents don't even have to get out of their cars. We all make a line around the back and the school staff come to car, open door, remove the student, walk them into the school through the back doors. Drop off takes us 5 minutes. pickup is just as easy...again parents stay in car, child is brought to you, and off you go.

I'm thinking cold springs has more students than our school, but maybe it would work for them too, even our principle is outside getting students out of cars and helping the little ones into their backpacks each morning. Safety is always priority and cars aren't allowed to be in motion of students are moving outside...and students have to remain behind teachers in designated areas if any cars are moving.

Where will they go? said...

How about staggered start and finish times for different grades? For example - grades K-3 start at 8:30 and 4-6 start at 9:30 (I'm guessing the grade ranges at the school). Families with kids in both time frames would bring them at the earlier one and pick up at the later one with the school providing an area where they could wait (I'm assuming such an area exists). That would minimize traffic congestion and the teachers would simply work a staggered schedule the same as they work the current schedule. Lunch hours would remain largely the same with the only difference being when the students start and depart. Many large businesses do this already to eliminate congestion upon arrival & departure of their employees.

Bingo! said in reply to reader...

You got your answer right there.

School days said...

I am glad they cut the's time parents take responsibility of their own kids instead of the school district making sure they get to and from school every day. Oh, yes and while you have to get off your lazy butt to get your kid to school; why not get a job!

reader said in reply to School days...

How about we go a step further and have a volunteer board of parents decide what our kids should be learning. Do away with the nine thousand plus administrators for our six hundred school districts and truely put our childrens education where it belongs,in the hands of their parents. When i was a kid my father said we were democrat because they were for the people,now the democrats are for the peoples money and want elitist control of our lives,we are no long the land of the free and home of the brave,we are the land of handouts and home of the government owned slaves.

John Branin said...

It may be better for our Children if more parents joined Home-Schooling groups instead of sending them to be indoctrinated by the Left-wing instructors in the Common "Communist" Core Centers.
The "Unionized" Teachers have abandoned their duty to America's Children and have been radicalized by the demuslums in DC and are now trying to bring down our Country in their cause of "Just to be fair" to those who hate the USA and freedom of Religion.

Democrats are not better for us said...

When will we wake up in Gloucester ans stop voting Democrat? Look at the school board, dont you think they screwed us by allowing the teachers to be laid off yet gave raises to Rafferty and crew. Please dont say it was contractual because the school board could have said all raises are frozen.