RSJ Reflections

Posted on January 27, 2019 3:04 PM by Admin
Categories: Homeowner Inquiries
Ellen, I have been reading an extended discussion on Facebook regarding the issue of school drop-offs and pick-ups at our community's entrances.  I am in agreement that the situation creates the great frustrations that people feel when trying to leave or enter our community during "rush hour."  Also I am concerned about the safety issue regarding the lack [of] ingress and egress, for not only ourselves, but for first responders.
{Ellen:  I agree wholeheartedly and appreciate your thoughtful email along with your suggestions.}
I know my points are nothing new and have previously been discussed by the board in it's efforts to alleviate the situation but nothing seems to have changed during the time I have lived in this community.  In fact, in my opinion, if anything the situation has become worse over the last couple of years with the folks who are picking up or dropping off their children who have seemed to develop an attitude of "entitlement" in that they have every right to be where they are, doing what they are doing.  This is despite the fact that they are jamming up OUR private street, which is marked "No Parking" has red curbs and is designated as a fire lane.  Additionally, the school has made the area off limits for drop-offs and pick-ups.  Yet the number of these folks doing so seem to increase and their attitude is that this is normal practice.
I know the board has examined various options to deal with the situation, including meetings with the school and city, but, let's face it, the only real resolution has been when there has been a private security person blocking the entrance to the gate emphasizing that drop-offs and pick-ups are not permitted.
{Ellen:  I have lived here almost four years and was never aware that a guard was hired for drop off or pick up times.  I will make sure to find out any history about this at next Tuesday's board meeting.}
I would suggest that many people currently dropping off or picking up their kids do not understand that this practice is not permitted.  I believe that education of the parents and a hard line approach is what is called for in order to at least try to correct the trend that seems to be going in the wrong direction.  
Therefore, I would like to suggest that the board consider the following:
1.  Re-implement the private security service on a "declining" basis.  Declining meaning that they would start with several days in a row to "set the tone".  Then off and on deployment.  Perhaps 3 days a week, then two.  Be there different days of the week.  Sometimes in the mornings only, sometimes afternoons only.  The idea being that parents would not know when security was posted.  If they think they might be there, they likely (hopefully) would proceed as though they were going to be turned away and get in line with everyone else.  The frequency of the service being utilized could be adjusted based on need. 
{Ellen:  Noting my comment above that I need to get the history of prior security guards being hired for drop off/pick up times, I have had the property manager inquire with the security company on the feasibility of this option.  It is our understanding that they have minimum hour requirements per visit but we will find out for sure.}
Clearly, this is a big budget issue, but to many of our neighbors, this is a big issue.  And, frankly this is a big safety issue  as well as an issue that could eventually impact the values of the homes in this community if it gets out of hand and/or we have any incidents involving the loss of life or property.
{Ellen:  Yes, it will certainly be a budget issue, but let's get the facts and then be able to have a discussion at a board meeting regarding feasibility.}
2.  Have signs made and posted at the entrance to both Pamplona and Granada that the streets are private and that school drop-off and pick-up are prohibited.  Perhaps add that school rules prohibit drop-offs and pick-ups.  Likely, most parents are unaware that this is an issue and many would not be doing so if they were aware that it is prohibited.  
{Ellen:  There are currently signs noting it is private property, fire lanes, etc. that are obviously being purposely ignored.  I'm not sure more signage would help, however, these parents cannot claim ignorance.  The school has pushed out this information on our entrances on numerous occasions during each school year, plus newspaper articles (see my most recent blog post) and their electronic updates.  The principal advises that parents also use the teacher entrance on a daily basis, ignoring their signage that it is prohibited.  Unfortunately, I wish this would help, but I don't think so.}
3.  Stencil on the red curbs at Pamplona and Granada "No Stopping/Parking" - technically, there is a difference between "'parking and stopping".  We could even add signs saying "NO STOPPING AT ANY TIME - KEEP CLEAR" .  These signs would not be quoting a fire code or other legal entity  (the posted fire ordinance says no "parking"  thus allowing for "stopping" which is legal as long as the operator is in the car).  But it IS OUR road and we can "ask" folks to keep moving. 
{Ellen:  I'm not an expert on this issue but I had thought that the fire code signage and the red curb did not allow for parking, even if someone is present in the vehicle.  We can check that further.  I have seen the sheriff on site where they "push" the cars out, so it doesn't make sense to me that them being in the vehicle allows them to sit in a red zone, but again, we will check on that.}
Hopefully you can throw these ideas in the hopper and come up with a "plan" that will help fix the issue.  Many of our neighbors are rightfully frustrated with the situation and, hopefully, it can soon be alleviated.
Submitted by Jerry Skagg (January 27, 2019)