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F-M hopes to alleviate traffic problems with new high school parking lot design

The new F-M district office parking lot will be ready for traffic for the first week of school. The lot has separate sections for district office staff and high school staff and student drop-off.

The new F-M district office parking lot will be ready for traffic for the first week of school. The lot has separate sections for district office staff and high school staff and student drop-off. Allie Wenner

— But to help ease the transition, Vespi said there will be a police officer present at the intersection during the first week of school, as well as one or two supervision aides who will be responsible for directing traffic within the parking lot. And while the parking lot will help to alleviate traffic, Vespi said there’s only one way to completely fix the problem.

“The only thing that would solve the traffic problem on 173 is if more students rode buses and less parents drove kids to school,” he said. “That’s not just here, that’s at all of our schools. None of our campuses were built for the overwhelming amount of people who drive kids to school in this district.”

The F-M district created more parking for staff at Mott Road Elementary two years ago and also expanded the back parking lots at Wellwood Middle School and Fayetteville Elementary in the past few years. F-M recently purchased a property on Tinderbox Circle, next to the high school, and Vespi said that while there have been no decisions about what the land will be used for, he is hoping to add more parking on the other side of the House 2 section of the school with another lot. ‘Parking is something we look at every single year for our buildings,” he said.

Vespi said that the traffic issue on 173 has been something the district has been working on since it had a traffic study done in 2009. Experts studied the problem and made recommendations, which were presented to the Board of Education.

“It really comes down to the fact that we’ve had a supportive Board of Education that actually followed through in conjunction with the administration to say, ‘Yes, we have a problem,’” said Vespi. “For a number of years, everybody’s looked the other way and no one was willing to do something about it. But our board said ‘Okay, let’s do something about it.’”

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