Wheeling Traffic Commission OKs Woodsdale Elementary School’s Dismissal Plan
Measure Moves To City Council for Vote
By JOSELYN KING
WHEELING — The Wheeling Traffic Commission gave their recommendation Thursday that City Council approve Woodsdale Elementary School’s amended plan for handling traffic at school dismissal time.
The plan will go before City Council for a vote and final approval.
At the start of the school year, Woodsdale Elementary staff began closing Poplar Avenue from Bethany Pike to the unnamed alley behind the school to allow three lines of cars to stack beginning at 3:30 p.m. on school days. Each line of cars was being directed to turn right onto the alley to pick up children at the back entrance.
But the plan blocked the entrance to the Cobblestone Condominium complex at 4 Poplar Ave., and also prohibited residents of an apartment complex behind the school from leaving their parking lot.
At its Sept. 12 meeting, the Traffic Commission permitted the school to continue closing Poplar Avenue as it tweaked the plan.
Principal Ashlea Minch appeared before the commission Thursday to tell members the school was no longer stacking three lanes of cars on Poplar Avenue, but was now leaving the first lane in front of the condoniniums open.
Secondly, cars also will no longer be permitted to block the back parking lot to the condoniniums adjacent to the unnamed alley.
And lastly, school staff will make certain enough space is left open in the alley behind the school to accommodate the residents of the apartment complex who wish to leave their parking lot.
Attorney Ray Byrd, representing the Cobblestone Condominium residents, appeared before the commission. He said there had been “a lot of give and take between both sides since the last meeting.”
He said since “concessions have been made from the original plan,” and Poplar Avenue in front of the condoniniums will remain open, the new plan is acceptable to his clients.
“While remaining concerned, my clients will no longer oppose the revised dismissal plan, and trust there will be supervision going forward to assure the lane will be open at all times, and the portion of the alley behind the condo parking spaces will remain unblocked during the staging process,” Byrd told the commission.
He said it remains to be seen what effect the plan will have on property resale values, which had been a concern to the residents.
The commission unanimously approved its recommendation that a no parking zone be established on both sides of Poplar Avenue from Bethany Pike to the alley behind the school from 3-4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and that Poplar Avenue be closed to through traffic beginning at 3:30 p.m. until 4 p.m. on those days.
In addition, they passed a recommendation that Maple Street on the south side of the school have unrestricted parking from the unnamed alley to Bethany Pike during school hours.
The board also approved handicapped parking space requests by James P. Sacco Sr., 18 Vermont St.; Shannon Prout, 495 National Road; Dottie Jaeger, 3510 Eoff St.; and Brandon Murry, 1213 McColloch St.
Members granted a request by Crystal Cork, 2300 Highland Ave., for no parking signs on Highland Avenue between Drop Street and North 23rd St.
Present for the meeting were commission Chairman Alan Duvall and members Patrick Duffy and Lloyd Adams. Ron King was not in attendance.