A River to Sea Transportation Planning Organization representative discussed studies done at Flagler Schools during a School Board workshop on July 18.
About 550 students are dropped off and picked up at Old Kings Elementary School every day at a car queue that holds just 25 cars at a time. It's not enough, and that creates a safety problem, Flagler Schools’ Winnie Oden said.
The car queue problem at Old Kings is just one of many issues that leaves pedestrian school children at risk. Stephan Harris, from River to Sea Transportation Planning Organization, and Oden discussed possible solutions at a School Board workshop on July 18.
Because of the lack of space, cars often park on the grass shoulders on Old Kings Road to drop off students, and a long line forms at the intersection of State Road 100 and Old Kings Road. Oden said law enforcement suggested parents use the bus loop as overflow space for drop off and pick up once the buses leave.
School Board member Colleen Conklin said she was curious to get down to the root cause for parents avoiding the student drop-off and pick-up line and therefore parking on grass shoulders at many of Flagler County schools.
During a study done on December 2, 2016, 36 cars were seen parked on the grass outside Rymfire Elementary School. Oden said one of the possible solutions, which could be done at many Flagler Schools, may be to install “no parking” signs outside of school gates to give law enforcement a chance to enforce the issue.
In a document listing the problems and possible solutions, most schools studied had sidewalks and speed monitoring devices listed as possible solutions.
“Roads like Red Mill are the first ones in my mind that need sidewalks that feed directly to the school and have a lot of homes in those areas,” School Board member Andy Dance said.
Oden said Flagler County doesn’t have streets near public elementary schools that fit the criteria for “hazardous walking conditions,” according to law enforcement and transportation services.
While the River to Sea TPO works with Palm Coast, Bunnell and Flagler County to brainstorm possible solutions, Oden suggests Flagler Schools focus on getting pedestrian safety information out to parents and students through handouts, letters sent home, classroom discussions, school assemblies and more.