By Jacob Mathias
What started as a complaint over a blocked driveway has turned into a much larger traffic problem near Plover-Whiting Elementary School.
The Plover Village Board on Wednesday approved, new parking restrictions near the school after village police reported dangerous conditions at a nearby intersection.
New parking restrictions are now in force along the west side of Holly Lane- 200 feet of road which runs perpendicular to Airline Rd.- and Green Tree Dr. No parking will be allowed between the hours of 8 AM to 4:30 PM on school days.
To help compensate, 200 feet of new parking space on the east end of Airline Rd. near Crimson Ct. will be open for parking.
The remaining length of Airline Dr. will be open for student pickup and drop-off.
The change is also meant to help reduce the number of children who have to cross the street.
Plover Chief of Police Dan Ault said traffic and parking have long been a problem in the area.
“Extreme congestion, and then you had young kids crossing. I just really felt that was a pretty dangerous situation,” said Ault.
Plover-Whiting Principal Carl Coffman said he thinks the addition of parking spaces on the end of Airline Dr. will help alleviate some of the parking needs in the area during the school day.
“Parents can still park in the bus only area during the school day,” said Coffman. “And they do for special events. Especially when we have many parents visiting for a concert…we encourage that.”
The streets will be open to parking outside of school hours, on weekends and holidays so residents in the area will have adequate parking for guests.
“We tried to be as considerate as possible to everybody’s needs over there,” said Ault. “We tried to make the best decision we could with the least amount of negative impact to the residents and obviously the school.
Fortunately, Ault said he was unaware of any accidents at the intersection thus far.
“If it’s predictable, it’s preventable,” said Ault. “And that was predictable. By making the changes I really hope we prevent something happening that really had a high potential for something bad happening.
Plover Public Works Manager Bill Konkol said the required signs were in stock and will be posted before the school year begins.
Plover police will be on site the first few days of school to inform and enforce the new parking restrictions.
The Stevens Point School District 2015-16 school year begins September 1.