Police Chief urges drivers to be cautious for start of school | PostIndependent.com

Police Chief urges drivers to be cautious for start of school

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Police Chief Terry Wilson sent out a special message this week reminding motorists in the city to “please be patient, alert and courteous” with the start of school on Monday.

“Children are excited by the start of the school year, and drivers need to be extremely aware and cautious of our smaller pedestrians,” Wilson said.

Heavy vehicle and pedestrian traffic can be expected around schools from 7:30 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 4 p.m.

“A lot of the parents and students may be coming to their school for the first time, and parking and driving route decisions will be confusing during the first few days,” Wilson said.

“We urge parents to drive cautiously, leave early, and carpool with other parents and students when possible,” he added.

He encouraged parents to take time before the first day of school to show children the safe routes for walking or biking to school, and the safest way to cross streets and intersections.

Wilson noted that Sopris and Glenwood Springs elementary schools have school crossing guard programs, but they may not be fully in gear in the first few weeks of school. So he reminded drivers to be especially alert and careful.

For students and parents who walk to Glenwood Springs Elementary, Ninth Street is the designated safe corridor. On most weekday mornings and afternoons, the police department has a crossing guard working at the Ninth and Grand intersection to help walkers make it safely across the street.

From there, the Ninth and Colorado and Ninth and Pitkin intersections are all-way stops, specifically to make a safe route for walking students.

Wilson also called on motorists to pay attention to parking and no-parking signs near schools, installed to maintain a safe flow of traffic and maintain visibility of pedestrians by other drivers.

If a car is parked in a no-parking space, it is likely to block a line of sight for other drivers and pedestrians and could create a hazardous situation.

“Enforcing parking and school zone speed limits will be high priority for us during the school year,” Wilson said.

“Traffic and parking usually settles somewhat after a couple of weeks, as drivers and students establish their routes and times,” Wilson said. “In the meantime, please be patient, alert and courteous. We all want this to be a safe and happy school year for all of our kids.”

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