The Traffic & Safety Committee has worked hard in the past with our City Councillor, Jaye Robinson, City Staff, and the Lawrence Park Road Safety Committee to make changes for the safety of our children. There was new traffic signage placed in 2018 affecting our school.
Blythwood continues to be at capacity with the whole school (including JK & SK students) being dismissed at 3:35 pm. This makes for a high volume of parents and caregivers arriving at the same time to deliver and/or collect their children.
At Blythwood P.S., there are dozens of vehicles arriving at drop-off and pick-up children every day. By driving our children all the way to school, we are contributing to dangerous traffic conditions – at times putting our children at risk. This is particularly evident in winter months as snow and other hazards make for extremely congested and difficult drop-offs and pick-ups.
In addition to some changes near the school, all local streets in Lawrence Park will have the speed limit reduced to 30 km/hr. Hopefully, this will make walking to school a bit safer. A left-turn lane for westbound cars turning south onto Mt. Plesant was added to the intersection of Mt. Pleasant and Blythwood Rd. We also replenished some orange flags to help pedestrians cross Mt. Pleasant as well as in front of Sunnyview P.S. It is important for pedestrians to carefully watch for turning cars at this busy intersection.
Parking in front of the school is illegal during drop-off and pick-up hours. 15-min parking will be allowed from 9am – 3pm, Mon-Fri, allowing for quick pick-ups for sports, doctor appts, etc.
Stopping briefly to drop-off or pick-up a passenger is legal and encouraged, similar to how traffic flows at an airport. If your child is not ready when you pull up, we ask you to circle the block or park on a side street and walk. Leaving your vehicle unattended is NO LONGER legal during drop-off and pick-up times. Parking greatly contributes to our double-parking problem. Double parking is extremely dangerous and puts children at risk. It forces kids onto the road and makes them vulnerable to other cars trying to leave. It also obstructs the visibility of other drivers and pedestrians.
In order to prevent double-parking, we need to keep space in front of the school as clear as possible.
**NEW. There has been a change to the fines for parking illegally in School Zones. City Council approved an increase from $60 to $100/ticket.
No U-turn signs will be posted on Strathgowan Cres in front of the school. Driving into residential or other driveways and then backing out to change direction is also not recommended. It is difficult for drivers making a “U” turn or backing up to see small children crossing the street.
“U” turns can be confusing for children as they may not be able to anticipate such irregular vehicle movements.
Additionally, “U” turns and 3-point turns interrupt the flow of traffic and cause further congestion.
Please refer to the map on the next page to see proper traffic flow. Do not pick-up or drop-off children against the flow, forcing them to walk across the street. This practice is NOT safe and is an accident waiting to happen.
Cars must yield to pedestrians when they are walking on a roadway with no sidewalks. Drivers must also follow the directions of crossing guards when present.
When red lights are flashing on a stopped school bus, all traffic must stop and must not proceed until the bus has started moving again. This ensures that children getting on and off the school bus can do so safely
To avoid congestion, park legally on a street away from the school, facing the direction of your next destination. Then walk to school. This saves time and the stress of being caught in traffic and reduces the number of cars at school, creating fewer conflicts between child pedestrians and vehicle traffic.
Please see the map below, which outlines all legal parking in and around our school.
Green indicates where parking is allowed during drop-off, lunch, and pick-up times.
Research shows that kids actually love to walk and bike to school! In older children, it fosters independence, promotes physical activity, and is environmentally friendly. Walking with friends or as part of a “buddy” system makes it fun.
We are a neighborhood school and are fortunate that most houses are within walking distance to the school. We encourage you to map out a safe walking or biking route with your child in preparation for the fall.
While we recognize that it isn’t always possible to walk, please consider building it into your routine where possible.
Walking school buses are a great way for communities to work together to deliver younger children to school safely. Many of our neighbouring schools have successful walking school bus programs. Talk to your neighbors and set a schedule where parents or caregivers alternate taking a small group of children to school. The kids can socialize and will love it!
We also encourage you to look for carpooling options, particularly for after-school programs. Many families end up driving to the same programs and some duplication could easily be avoided with carpooling. It may even free up more of your own time! Contact your class parent to find out who is interested in pooling in your classroom!
If you must pick-up quickly due to after-school commitments or multiple pick-ups, consider setting an alternate pick-up spot. Setting a spot, even one block away, will save you the frustration of navigating school congestion and empower your child.
Please take advantage of this great program. In the fall, we hope to add a few more volunteers to Kiss ‘N’ Ride to help shuttle younger children (Grade 1) around the back to the south doors. We hope this alleviates any parental concerns over your children safely entering the school.
Another program to take advantage of is “The Supervised Playground”. A Blythwood staff member will be on yard duty daily from 8:40-8:55 am for early drop-off. We are adding supervision after school from 3:35 – 3:50 pm. The staff member will do a sweep of the grounds and supervise children until 3:50 by the hockey pads. If you aren’t rushing somewhere after school, this is a great way to avoid peak traffic.
Kindergarten students are required to be picked up directly by a parent or caregiver (special permission can be granted to an older sibling as well). If you are concerned about traffic and need to pick your child up by a car, you can park near the school and pick your child up in the school playground when the bell rings at 3:35.
Thank you for your support.