CAES asks parents not to arrive early for pickup Traffic pattern, early arrivals mean congestion at elementary

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC

This gate remains closed until all the children come in from the playground at about 2:40 p.m. Photos by Shawn Cunningham

Jim Spaulding is spending a chunk of his afternoons directing traffic. The building supervisor at Chester-Andover Elementary School has made it his mission to make the bus and parent pickups run smoothly and that means asking some people (politely) to leave.

Over the years, several schemes have been used to handle the rush of cars and buses descending on the school parking lot. Currently, parents pick up their students by driving behind the school while buses pick up students from the front. What complicates things is that the gate leading to the back of the school must remain shut until all of the children come in from the playground.

Parents lining up reduce driveway to one lane

Parents who arrive early — some as much as 50 minutes before dismissal — line up in front of the gate, which blocks buses from getting in and blocks people parked in the lot from getting out. In addition, cars parked outside the marked parking spaces make it difficult for buses to make the wide turns necessary to get into position for pickup.

Spaulding says the solution is simple. The gate opens at 2:40 p.m. and, if parents arrive after that time, they will be able to drive around the building and out of the way of the buses. Spaulding also asks that parents not wait in the driveway, which reduces it to one lane and makes it harder for buses to enter.

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