School traffic causes trouble

RANCHO SANTA FE — Community leaders are working together to solve the pick-up/drop-off challenges that are causing traffic congestion near the R. Roger Rowe school. Chief Patrol Officer Matt Wellhouser gave a report to the Association board of directors at their Sept. 17 meeting, outlining the problems that occur as parents drop their children off at school and later in the afternoon when they arrive to pick them up.
“The first three or four days of the new school year were a nightmare,” Wellhouser said. “Meetings were held with the superintendent, Lindy Delaney, and her assistant superintendent, Cindy Schaub, to solve the parking problems; to look for choke points.” Since then, traffic improved, according to Wellhouser, and there is less congestion. “Drop-off is going well,” he said, “The challenge is the afternoon pick-up.”
During the afternoon pick-up, parents often arrive early and park their cars along El Fuego and La Granada, causing traffic to choke and queues to form. Fire Marshal Cliff Hunter expressed concerns because the fire department needs access to El Fuego in the event of a fire or emergency.
“What advice you would offer to the parents regarding picking up their children?” Association President Bill Beckman asked Wellhouser. ‘What will solve the problem?”
“My best advice? Don’t come early!,” Wellhouser said. “Coming early only backs up traffic. Have a plan with your children to come later rather than come early.”
Tom Parry, a retired attorney and county traffic engineer who is helping the Association with these matters, agreed. “The major problem is pick-up,” he said. “Everyone wants to wait at the same time. It doesn’t work.”
Wellhouser said that the school is working with parents to get carpools in place that will help ease the congestion.
In other Association news, the Forest Health Task Force met recently and expanded their tree list to include a section of eucalyptus trees that are not susceptible to lerp psyllid infestations. The list will soon be presented to the Art Jury for their consideration.
A community meeting regarding the proposed Village Park was held at the Garden Club on Sept. 22. Residents of Rancho Santa Fe were given the opportunity to view different design proposals for the Village Park in front of the Inn and along Avenida de Acacias. Public comments were encouraged.
Association President Bill Beckman also wanted the community to be aware that we are entering fire season. “We need to be prepared for the fire season,” he said at the recent Association meeting. Beckman stressed the urgency for all residents to work with the fire department to make sure events like the Witch Creek Fire don’t reoccur.
The next association meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. Oct. 1.


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