Quaker Valley parents may want to think twice about stopping in the middle of Beaver Street to drop off students at the high school.
Leetsdale Mayor Pete Poninsky told a group of concerned citizens during a townhall meeting for district residents Monday that police plan to crackdown on speeding and other traffic violations outside the school when students return for classes.
Residents met in the borough’s community room to discuss ways to resolve the ongoing traffic and safety issues outside the high school, as well as the district's plans for properties purchased in the 700 block of Beaver Street.
Poninsky said the borough police department will have two cars monitoring traffic at the high school during daily arrival and dismissal times. He said warnings will be issued to violators during the first week.
“The first week, we’ll be visible. The second week, we’ll be ticketing,” said Poninsky, who oversees the Leetsdale police department.
Tina Vojtko, district spokeswoman, said Quaker Valley welcomes the assistance of the Leetsdale police and other public officials in keeping students safe. A letter from Principal Andrew Surloff regarding student safety was also mailed to high school families last week, she said.
Quaker Valley issued a similar reminder to parents last school year that students are to be dropped off in the lower parking lot behind the school.
Poninsky said once daylight saving time starts, he fears the early morning darkness will mean less visibility, opening the potential for a serious accident.
The gathering of about 50 residents formed a committee and decided on a new name as the Concerned Taxpayers of Quaker Valley School District Taxpayers. The group wants to raise taxpayer awareness about the traffic issues while finding solutions that don't include purchasing homes.
The district purchased two homes in the 700 block and is looking to buy one final home, but the sides haven't been able to agree on a price. Tentative plans are to construct a student drop-off area for cars, a bus turnaround and parking lot.
Neighbors close to the high school said they don't believe that parents violating traffic laws should be rewarded with a new driveway that they probably won't use. Others said the problem would be resolved if parents obeyed the traffic laws.
"These kids are 15 years old and up. There's always going to be safety issues. You're never going to be completely safe no matter what," said District Judge Robert Ford, who lives on Beaver Street.
In June, the school board contracted with David E. Wooster & Associates, an engineering firm, to complete a traffic study that explores various solutions.
The board is awaiting the final analysis and will share the report with the community once it is complete.
Meanwhile, the concerned taxpayer group plans another meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 4 in the borough's community room to continue the discussion.
Click on the attached PDF to see the district's letter to high school parents.
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