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Why Did the District Dismiss An Option for Additional Parking at Greenacres?

Greenacres Parking JamLast June, when questioned about why the architect's site plan for an expansion of Greenacres School included fewer rather than more parking spaces around the school, Superintendent Thomas Hagerman said that these issues would be left to the Building Committee to resolve. Residents were already concerned about cars parked on both sides of narrow streets and difficulty dropping off and picking up students at a school without a proper entrance and the new plans appeared to exacerbate the traffic problems.

When the Greenacres Building Committee met in the fall of 2017, they were aware that the streets were already jammed, and with the addition of a cafeteria at the school, more personnel would be working at the school and require parking. Therefore, the committee asked the Village to consider two areas for additional parking; either along Huntington Avenue, or by expanding the existing parking along Montrose Road from one to two rows of parking, with a turn around lane in between to add another 10-15 spots.

We recently learned that Village Managers met and reviewed the proposals and found that parking along Huntington Road would be dangerous and could bar the passage of emergency vehicles if needed. However, they did find that cutting another row of parking into the field on Montrose Road was a viable option and recommended that the school include this off-street parking into their plans for the 2018 bond. The estimated cost was between $500,000 and $600,000.

Shortly thereafter, the district disbanded the Building Committee and the parking discussion never saw the light of day again.

At the November 20, 2017 meeting of the Board of Education (2h 14m) when asked about additional parking, Assistant Superintendent Stuart Mattey said, "Parking would be as is." Dr. Hagerman replied, "Parking came up as a question and we got another schematic." And Mattey answered, "That's something we recommend to come off the table and defer for further study. It is not part of this project." A board member asked, "Is that $600,000 (for parking) out of the bond?" Hagerman said, "Kevin(the architect)  is looking at one more (plan)." And Mattey responded, "We looked at it and it wasn't possible."

And at the League of Women Voters Public Forum (1h 13m) on the bond proposal on January 10, 2018 the issue of parking was raised again:

Dr. Hagerman said, "We have difficulties at every school ..... We understand that parking in a neighborhood is a significant issue. ... We did look at a couple of items relative to Greenacres because of its priority in the bond and the parking options that were provided were not sufficient either from the Village's standpoint or from our standpoint for what would work. It is something that we understand is a critical issue."

The question remains as to why the additional parking on Montrose Road was not "possible." The Village found it to be workable, minimally invasive and supported it as it would take cars off the local streets.

However the proposal was never reviewed in public or discussed at a meeting of the Board of Education.

Perhaps the administration didn't want to spend the money .... or maybe they feared that neighbors on Montrose Road would object to the parking lot, as they had objected to a new school? Whatever the reason, this solution was shelved before it could be properly vetted.

Comments   

#1 Building committee member 2018-01-18 15:01
This parking lot on Montrose was looked at and voted on at the last building committee meeting. There was a unanimous vote in support of it. I have no idea why it was not included in the bond.
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