The Port Townsend School District intends to be “a good neighbor” to the residential neighborhoods surrounding Salish Coast Elementary, but it's asking the parents of its students, as well as any other commuters who happen to be passing through, to aid them in this goal.
That was the word from Salish Coast Elementary Principal Lisa Condran when she addressed the Port Townsend School Board Sept. 6.
“Part of that plan is to minimize the amount of private vehicle traffic on our surrounding roads, by encouraging people to use ways of getting to school other than private vehicles,” Condran said.
To that end, Condran listed the three separate drop-off and pick-up sites for Salish Coast Elementary, including the parking lot for the Port Townsend (Quaker) Friends meeting and worship house, Grant Street for pre-kindergarten through third-grade students, and Sheridan Street for fourth- and fifth-graders.
Condran stipulated the Quaker Friends' lot is not intended for school parking, and outlined the time-sensitive limits for parking on Grant Street.
During the peak hours for dropping off and picking up students, from 7 to 8 a.m. and 2:30 to 3 p.m., visitors should not park for more than five minutes in the angled spaces on the west side of Grant Street.
“We're trying to avoid cars queueing up,” Condran said. “If you're in your car, and you see traffic backing up, make another circuit around the block. More spaces might be available by the time you get back.”
While family vehicle and volunteer parking is allowed between the hours of 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the angled spaces on Grant Street, as well as in the school bus loading zone on Discovery Road, no family vehicles are allowed to drop off or pick up students in the school bus loading zone.
No parking is allowed before 7 a.m. or after 5 p.m., and no student drop-off or pickup is allowed on 16th Street, with Condran warning would-be parkers, “Do not use Grant Street south of 16th Street for any purpose.”
When asked about bicycling to Salish Coast Elementary, Condran reported the school comes equipped with bike racks, and reiterated her pledge to promote student safety by posting no less than four crossing guards on site, from 7:35 to 8 a.m. and 2:30 to 2:45 p.m.
“Our School Resource Officer, Jeremy Vergin, will be there bright and early for our families,” Condran said.
When Port Townsend School Board Director Jennifer James-Wilson asked when they expected construction would be complete, Port Townsend School District Superintendent John Polm offered a tentative estimate of mid-November, while Condran added a “best case” date of Oct. 15.