By Jeff Gallatin
School and city officials are considering a proposal to change traffic patterns to allow only a right turn out of the Westerly School parking lot to help alleviate traffic backups.
City Council was scheduled to consider the proposal during the Public Improvements and Streets Committee portion of its committee of the whole meeting Monday night.
Police Chief Mark Spaetzel said the department has already done preliminary studies of the traffic in the area around the school, which is located at 30301 Wolf Road. He said that like any school when students are being picked up or dropped off at the end or start of the school day, there can be a large amount of traffic with parents bringing their children to and from the school site.
“It’s a busy area,” Spaetzel said. “Basically, we’re looking at making the change to a right turn only to help prevent bottlenecks, because there are times when you get a lot of vehicles picking up and dropping off people. Sometimes, you get vehicles which are backed up out into the streets while they’re waiting to move into the proper area.”
Spaetzel said city officials want to make sure they take the proper steps and cooperate with the school district to make the area as safe as possible for children and motorists.
“We’ll discuss it at the council meeting, and if the city and school officials want to proceed we’ll get the legislation ready to be considered for approval by the council,” Spaetzel said.
Bay Village School Superintendent Clint Keener said Friday the district always looks at ways of making schools as safe as possible for all the people who come and go from district buildings.
“We count on all the people and drivers who come and go from our schools to be patient when they’re driving around the school zones – and they are,” he said. “But with the Westerly school traffic pattern and with the traffic light nearby, we have seen that bottlenecks can develop in that area.”
Keener said the district has discussed the situation with city police officials.
“If the city feels it can change the traffic patterns, we would welcome a right-turn-only amendment.”
Bay Village Mayor Debbie Sutherland noted that Wolf Road is a busy roadway, particularly the portion of it by Westerly School.
“I live near that area and it can get very backed up at times when they are picking up or dropping off children at the school,” she said.
Sutherland said being proactive about children’s safety is something on which the city is glad to work closely with the school district.
“That’s something where we can find the best solution, and if a right-turn-only provision is what’s best, then we’ll move forward with that,” she said.