The Red Deer Public School District hopes to stop the traffic at Eastview Middle School by making changes to the school driveway, limiting access to the staff parking lot and stopping motorists from entering the school grounds from the back alley.
Under the proposal, motorists would continue to enter the school grounds at the entrance on 40th Avenue but would exit the school by turning right only (north) onto 40th Avenue through the exit.
Currently, motorists can either head south or north from the exit.
“Our prime concern is student safety,” said Bruce Buruma, director of community relations.
Buruma noted the district is working with an engineering firm on the proposal.
“We want to make sure we have a system that is going to work. The challenge is that it’s a large school. ”
Among the recommendations are fencing off the parking lot from the back alley, adding more parking and re-jigging the parking stalls to run east-west instead of north-south. There would be only one access point from the school in and out of the parking lot.
The zones in front of the school will be expanded to offer more spots for parents to drop off and pick up their children. Upgrading the curbs and sidewalk around the school are among the plans.
Buruma said there are not a lot of alternatives because it is a large middle school with a lot of people coming and going throughout the day. He said the bulk of the congestion happens when school lets out for the day at 3 p.m.
“You have 700 kids that between buses, parents picking them up and walking it’s a busy place,” said Buruma. “There is a real big crunch time when there is a challenge.”
The district shared the proposal with the community at the school on May 3. In the coming months, the district will review the feedback from the community before submitting its proposal to the Municipal Planning Commission for review.