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Neighbors against school traffic near Gem Prep

Parents debate that's what happens when you live near a school
Posted at 5:39 PM, Mar 06, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-06 19:39:28-05

NORTH MERIDIAN, Idaho — Residents who live near Gem Prep Meridian North are fed up with the amount of traffic on their street during drop-off and pick-up. Parents say that is what happens when you live near a school.

  • Neighbors of the Oaks North subdivision are not happy with before and after school traffic in their neighborhood.
  • These neighbors have pushed for "no parking" signs in the cul-de-sac that connects to the school.
  • The school has sent out a map and multiple letters talking about where parents can and can't go when picking up and dropping off.
  • Parents say the street is public space so parking should not be an issue.
  • Both sides want to make sure students are safe and drivers are aware.

(Below is the transcript from the broadcast story)

Safety concerns for students in one Meridian neighborhood. I talked with parents and neighbors about this controversial cul de sac.

"Zero children have been hit by a car and I think we all want to keep it that way," said Jessica Moody.

Moody drops off and picks up her kids at Gem Prep Meridian North every day. The school is right outside the Oaks North subdivision where Jim Kealing lives.

Kealing explained, "All of the parents started to come, in both in the morning to drop off their kids, and in the afternoon to pick up their kids."

His street backs up to the school and says a lot of parents are using his cul-de-sac as a shortcut.

"They would run across streets and almost get hit by cars. One or two parents have almost been hit by cars," said Kealing.

Kealing says the school sent out a map urging parents to pick up students on school grounds and not to park on residential roads behind the school. Despite "no parking" signs in place Kealing says it's still a problem.

Kealing added, "You would have cars parked in every direction. Faced in. Faced out. Parked every which way. Right way and wrong way on both sides of the street."

While parents like Moody agree cars should not park in the no parking zone, she points out the street is a public space, and part of living next to a school.

Moody explained, "This is a community school. You can see sidewalks with a connected path where children can walk safely home behind the houses."

Parents tell me the school is holding kids back an extra five minutes after school, with hopes parents will pick up kids out front. I've called the school several times for comment on the situation but have not heard back.

It's important parents teach kids how to stay safe when walking near streets, and drivers need to be respectful and aware when driving in school zones.