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General City News Releases

Posted on: October 6, 2021

Traffic Message from Tom Gibbs, ACSD Superintendent and APD Chief Tom Pyle

East Elementary School Parents;

I am writing today about an ongoing concern related to afternoon student pick-up at East Elementary School.  The School District and the City of Athens are routinely receiving complaints about vehicles that are lining up in front of the school, around the corner and down Maplewood as much as 40-50 minutes before the end of the school day.  Unfortunately, drivers are not pulling into parking spaces, but are blocking the roadway and private driveways for residents on Maplewood, Watt, and Wallace Streets.  While this is certainly an inconvenience for those residents, it also poses a safety hazard, as it would make it nearly impossible for an emergency vehicle to access any address in that immediate area.  Additionally, with most vehicles running during that time, the exhaust of that many vehicles for a 20-40 minute period of time is problematic for multiple reasons.

Please accept this message as a request from Chief Tom Pyle and myself to please wait to arrive at East Elementary School in the afternoons at 3:15 p.m. or after.  Should you arrive earlier and there are no parking spaces available, please keep your vehicle moving so as not to impede traffic flow through the neighborhood.  Lastly, please be advised that parking and/or "standing" in the street in your vehicle and blocking traffic is a violation of city code:

7.05.04. - Parking on highways, roadways and streets.

Upon any highway, roadway or street no person shall stop, park, or leave standing any vehicle, whether attended or unattended, upon the paved or main traveled part of the highway, roadway or street. In every event, a clear and unobstructed portion of the highway, roadway or street opposite such standing vehicle shall be left for the free passage of other vehicles, and a clear view of such stopped vehicle shall be available from a distance of 200 feet in each direction upon such highway, roadway or street.(B)

This section does not apply to the driver of any vehicle which is disabled while on the paved or improved or main traveled portion of a highway roadway or street in such manner and to such extent that it is impossible to avoid stopping and temporarily leaving the disabled vehicle in such position or to any driver of a vehicle authorized by the City of Athens to be used as a means of public transportation.

It is our hope that we can work together to resolve this issue so as not to continue to cause challenges for the residents impacted by this traffic pattern.

Thank you in advance for your consideration of this request. 

Respectfully,

Tom Gibbs, Athens City School District Superintendent

Tom Pyle, Athens City Chief of Police

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