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Walnut City Council Approves School Parking Changes

The council voted in two separate actions to alter parking-related ordinances for the Collegewood Elementary and Walnut High areas.

The Walnut City Council Wednesday night approved some parking changes around two schools.

In two separate actions, the council voted 5-0 to alter parking-related ordinances. 

One measure will allow Collegewood Elementary parents and school volunteers to have an hour block in the morning on some streets near the campus to park.

On Oct. 14, 2009, the council adopted an urgency ordinance to restrict parking between the hours of 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. on various streets in the neighborhood around Collegewood.  At the time, the council had some concerns about the effect of the parking restrictions on the parents’ ability to pick up their children afterschool, according to the staff report. 

As a result, the council granted an exception to the parking restrictions between 2:45 and 3:45 p.m. on the first 200 feet of Lassiter Drive west of Atterbury Drive, the first 200 feet of Cranmer Drive east of Atterbury Drive, and the first 200 feet of Atterbury south of the intersection of Lassiter and Cranmer.

The Collegewood principal and parents recently requested that the city extend that exception to the parking restrictions to the hour between 7:45 and 8:45 a.m. on weekdays for school drop off.

"With the parking lot being full, they requested an additional exception from 7:45 to 8:45," City Engineer David Gilbertson said.

Of the 11 residents that would be affected by the change in parking restrictions, 10 signed a petition in support of it, he said.

The second parking change approved change affects a street near Walnut High School.

In July, the council voted unanimously to approve an ordinance that restricts parking to one hour between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on school days along four streets. Complaints from residents about littering and students interfering with parking for homeowners, street cleaning, and trash pick up prompted the city's Traffic Safety Committee to recommend the ordinance.

More than 50 percent of the 234 residents on the 14 streets surveyed favored the restrictions.

The streets included in the approved ordinance were Claro Drive from Julliard Drive to Barnard Avenue, Carbonia Avenue from Deloraine Drive to Evant Drive, Deloraine Drive west of Carbonia Avenue, and Divonne Drive west of Carbonia Avenue.

In July, Gilbertson said that overcrowding in the school’s lots did not prompt the parking restrictions.

The lot typically is around 80 percent full, but some students prefer to park on the street, he said. The gates of the lots are closed at certain times, so students sometimes park on the street if they come late or want to leave early, he said.

After the Sheriff’s Department started enforcing the parking restrictions, some residents who live on the section of Carbonia not included in the original ordinance requested that their area be added, according to the staff report.

The results of an initial survey in June found that 39 percent of residents along the left out section of Carbonia responded in favor of the restrictions, so it was not included in the original ordinance, Gilbertson said.  Residents recently submitted a petition with 13 of 18 residents, or 72 percent, showing support for the change, he said.

Vito Spago November 30, 2012 at 08:02 AM
Why not make the kids ride bicycles or walk to school. Parents are turning their kids into sissies by driving them everywhere. Also most of these parents cannot drive and risk running over students. Roads in front of schools should be blocked off to car traffic and only allow foot or bicycle traffic on school days.
Michael November 30, 2012 at 05:57 PM
Vito, You have far too much common sense for what government does. About 35% of the kids don't live in Walnut so they can't walk. You are subsidizing them with your tax dollars- I'm sure they are grateful to you [end of sarcasm].

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