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Quaker Valley administrators make fixes to high school drop-off problem

| Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Quaker Valley high-schoolers won't have to lug trumpets, sports bags and other school-related items too far when school starts on Monday. Administrators say they've found a temporary solution to solving a drop-off issue in Leetsdale.

Two buses will pick up dropped-off students near the ticket gate of Chuck Knox Stadium and transport them up the hill to the school, administrative services Director Joe Marrone said.

“There are two buses in the morning that are going to come, stop, pick up the kids and drop them off,” he said.

“So they won't have to worry about walking up the hill with their stuff.”

Marrone called the plan a temporary fix to what has become an ongoing controversy about parents dropping off students in front of the school on Beaver Street in an area prohibiting parking. It was one of several items school leaders tackled stemming from a community-driven traffic safety committee, which released its recommendations in the spring.

The traffic safety committee grew from residents concerns over the district purchasing two nearby homes in 2012. School board members and administrators said they purchased the homes to consider using for a possible parking lot and bus drop-off zone.

School leaders have been unsuccessful at purchasing property that would link all of the property together.

Among recommendations the committee offered was adding a sidewalk from the stadium parking lot off Route 65 up the hill to the high school.

The shuttle service was considered after leaders thought it would be easier to accomplish than a sidewalk, Marrone said.

In addition to shuttle runs, several stop signs were added to allow drivers of buses and passenger vehicles a chance to slow down and look for students crossing the road, Marrone said.

The first stop sign drivers will encounter is near the bottom of the school's main-entrance driveway from Beaver Street.

No parking will be enforced along the driveway behind the building, Marrone said.

“It does get dangerous, because if they're parked up on the hill and they're down [near Chuck Knox Stadium] and an ambulance or fire truck has to get through, it's a huge safety issue,” he said.

In a lot next to the school on Beaver Street, administrators had two front parking spaces removed to offer a better line of sight to drivers exiting campus.

School leaders and event organizers will meet in September to consider solutions for offering handicapped and senior citizens' parking, Marrone said.

He called the fixes students and parents will find next week “interim.”

“But they'll definitely help.

“It's a start to look at it. We'll monitor it. Everything we can do for safety can help.”

Bobby Cherry is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-324-1408 or rcherry@tribweb.com.

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