CNB 2015 Archives: Parking Congestion at Cold Spring School Complex Upsetting Parents, Guardians and Residents
by William E. Cleary Sr. | CNBNewsnet
Gloucestercitynews.net--GLOUCESTER 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
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.
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.