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School Areas Should Be Patrolled During Pick-Up, Drop-Off Times

If Mayor Eddie Sundquist and the Jamestown City Council want to do something to keep school children safer during school hours, they should make sure school areas are patrolled during major pick-up and drop-off times.

We’re not asking for speed enforcement, though. Something should be done about illegal parking during school hours, particularly around schools that are asking parents to park on side streets to avoid large groups of people near main entrances to schools.

At Fletcher Elementary School, for example, parents are asked to park on a series of narrow side streets if their children are entering the Cole Avenue side of the building. But when some people refuse to follow alternate parking rules and park on both sides of narrow streets, it is difficult to load and unload children safely — particularly after a snowstorm that leaves some streets even narrower than they already are. A hearty thumbs up, by the way, to the homeowner on Jewel Place and Cole Avenue who snowblows part of his yard for parents and children to walk in so they don’t have to walk in a sometimes-chaotic street.

The council approved a school speed camera program at Sundquist’s request in December, but there are doubts whether that program will do anything other than bring in revenue to the city’s coffers. Keeping some semblance of order on side streets when parents are picking up and dropping off their children would go a long way toward actually keeping children safe.

Cameras can’t solve that problem. Regular patrols — and tickets for violators — will.

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