Column: Ordinance aims to ensure safety, access

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Commentary by Jeff Worrell

In September, there was an issue brought to my attention by some concerned residents regarding student drop-off, pick-up and parking causing problems in some of our neighborhoods surrounding Carmel’s schools. I met on-site over several days and several locations and witnessed firsthand the issues that they were bringing up.

With the school bus driver shortage this year, Carmel Clay Shools implemented a policy where families who live within 1 mile of their school would not receive bus service. This has led to a large increase in the amount of traffic at the start and end of the school day. The problem has been especially bad around Carmel High School, where some parents have chosen to utilize local neighborhoods adjacent to the school instead of at the designated drop-off/pick-up area at CHS Athletic Complex.

After witnessing the congestion on our residential streets, access challenges for delivery and emergency vehicles, and pedestrian safety issues, I met with representatives from Carmel Clay Schools, the Carmel Police Dept. and others to see if there was something the city council could do to help alleviate these issues.

From those conversations, I’ve sponsored an ordinance that will:

  • Require vehicles servicing local schools to use parking facilities and follow established school student pick-up routes and locations.
  • Establish local streets around all Carmel schools that will be designated as no parking during school hours. Permits will be available to ensure residents aren’t negatively impacted.
  • At CHS, local streets will not allow standing, stopping or parking vehicles to discourage student pickup in neighborhoods.

The access to and enjoyment of a resident’s home is something that we can all agree is important not only individually, but as a community. And the safety of students and motorists around our schools must always be a top priority. My goal with this ordinance is to ensure both.

Jeff Worrell is an at-large member of the Carmel City Council.


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