(Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS) Ridge Meadows RCMP handed out “positive” tickets to drivers in front of Yennadon elementary, warning them to slow down in school zones.

LETTERS: We need ‘positive’ driving near east Maple Ridge schools

‘Neighbours increasingly frustrated with cars parked in front of their driveways.’

Editor, The News:

Re: Ridge RCMP hand out ‘positive’ tickets.

It is really good to remind drivers – most parents themselves – to slow down and be aware in school zones.

We live on the north end of 248th street, with Blue Mountain elementary school and Garibaldi secondary to the south.

As we drive by on our way to swimming each morning, we pass both schools. There is a ditch on the east side of the road and a sidewalk on the west side. Parents dropping their children off park half on the sidewalk and half on the road. This forces the two lanes into a single one and cars driving on the road to do a sort of slalom.

This is dangerous, as each driver has to gauge who stops to let the other car by. It also forces pedestrians to walk on the road as there is no room for both parked cars and strollers.

Parents and children accessing or departing from their south facing vehicles that are parked there put themselves and their children into danger, even if the vehicles in motion are driving slowly.

Neighbouring houses are increasingly frustrated with cars parked in front of their driveways or on the side of the already narrow road, thus making emergency vehicles unable to access the area.

Solutions:

• move the playground to the back of the school, and use the front for parking and drop off;

• encourage parents to use the parking spaces available at the high school and walk their children the short distance to the elementary school;

• have “citizens on patrol” to help monitor the situation and encourage parents not to park on the sidewalks in front of neighbouring houses, and not on the already congested roadway;

• widen the road to enable off-street parking and to keep the bike lane and sidewalk clear from cars;

• put in a covered culvert over the ditch on the east side of the road to enable cars to move over to pass oncoming traffic;

• pressure the school board for more buses.

I understand parenting is often a juggling challenge, and getting the kids to school is often quite the nightmare. But what would be worse, if a parent lost a child because of this situation?

We have lived in this neighborhood for 35 years and our kids walked the kilometre with myself, or another parent (we took turns) every school day, rain or shine.

It is so dangerous, that when we go by the schools. We go by at a near crawl, and even then twice have had young children dart out from between cars and had run into the side of our car.

With increasing density, this problem will only get worse.

Marlene and Gary Walker

Maple Ridge

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