NORWALK, Conn. — Children will no longer have to cross a busy road to get to Jefferson Elementary School, under a plan developed by Norwalk Public Schools in conjunction with the Norwalk Police Department and the Department of Public Works.
Officials met Wednesday morning with the press to share the new idea – having school staff park in the Grandview Avenue parking lot and using the Bedford Street lot for what Jefferson Principal Nicholas Brophy described as a coordinated, “stricter operation” to assist parents in dropping off and picking up their children.
“What we are trying to do here is create a safer environment for the kids coming to school… We are moving all of this hassle inside of the school property so the kids does not need crossing anywhere,” Norwalk Department of Public Works Traffic Engineer Fred Eshragi said.
The teachers and staff will park in the lot between Grandview and Spring Hill avenues, officials said. The crosswalk on Grandview west of the intersection with Van Buren will be removed (striping deleted, pathway from parking lot to sidewalk removed). Teachers and staff will have to cross at the intersection of Grandview and Van Buren, which already has a full crosswalk with signs in place.
For pick up, parents will line up in the Bedford Street lot, adjacent to the school, displaying a parent permit on their dashboard, officials said. Staff members will use radios to communicate who is in line, so the children will be ready to leave.
“They don’t need to exit their car,” Brophy said, calling the new operation “significantly safer.”
Buses will continue to line up on Grandview and pull into the circular parking lot in front of (beneath) the school.
Procedures will be under constant review, Brophy said.
Parents will be receiving a transportation packet, containing a detailed map and a “very clear articulated ‘how do you get home from school’ (form)” Brophy said, adding, “The number one thing we are putting on all of our conversations with parents is people need to be patient and they need to be safe.”