Michael Vardal 0

Petition to allow parking on the Ely Street sidewalk

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Petition to post signage on Ely Street in Hartford, CT to ALLOW parking on the wide-width sidewalk due to the safety concerns of school children Dear Mr. Burnham, Director of Hartford’s Department of Public Works, This letter comes to you from concerned parents, educators, administrators, PTO, and other individuals from Capital Preparatory Magnet School located at 1304 Main Street, Hartford, CT. As of September 2013, this year-round magnet school boasts over 698 students from all grade levels starting at age 3 all the way up to high school graduation. However, several years ago this was not the case as this was the old Henry Bernard Brown Elementary School. Not only did the former school contain the older students who currently drive to school, but the Henry Bernard Brown school also excluded the Pre-k students who now MUST be driven in and out twice daily. As you may be aware, students may not ride the school bus unless they are 5 years of age as well as in Kindergarten. For Capital Prep, this number is in excess of 48 preschoolers transported to and from school daily! Herein lies the problem; There is an influx of cars parked near 1304 Main Street and on Ely Street at both arrival and departure time. Parents must park near the Main Street bus stop due to school buses filling the area in front of the school as well as on Pleasant Street. Both Ely and Winthrop Street are one-way streets with teacher, student, and other vehicles lining the right-hand side of the street. To remedy this, we as parents are forced to park partially (or completely) on the left side of Ely Street over a public sidewalk. If any vehicles are not parked up enough on the left-hand curb, this is a danger to the school buses trying to drop off or bring children home. On Winthrop Street left-hand parking is not even possible due to the thinness of the street so this is kept open for the buses and other through-travel. Parking in the small lot of the school is not an option as it is always full with student and staff cars early in the AM, and the nearby public lots are extremely expensive to be paying twice a day at drop-off and pick-up time. I am sure it is clear to this department of the dangers of parking on the South direction of Main Street. Not only have several young students already nearly been struck crossing the street here, but very often we witness vehicles going though the traffic lights and even through the stop signs held out by the buses. This does even include the double-fatality car crash in recent days. As times change, we must learn to adapt. Although this may not be a permanent solution, we are petitioning for signage or other such measures to ALLOW us to park on the left hand side of Ely Street during drop-off and pick-up times (roughly Monday-Friday 7:30 AM-8:30 AM and 3:15-4:15 PM respectively). Note: Friday’s pick-up times are 12:30 PM–1:30 PM. We are also asking to allow parking during after-school concerts, sports, and activities. The signage should also alert the Hartford Police department and other authorities that we are NOT to be ticketed for parking on the left hand side of Ely Street. The penalty for driving our children into school is a whopping $75 offense and parents are ticketed very often without telling us where we CAN park. In short, since times have changed since the days of the Henry Bernard School, the influx of vehicle parking has greatly increased and poses a safety concern. Restricting further areas where we can not temporarily park puts our children and ourselves in jeopardy. Until a permanent solution is implemented, parking must be allowed on the Northbound side of Main Street (after the buses) and the sidewalk side of Ely Street. Thank you for taking the time to look into this matter, as it is greatly appreciate from all of us at Capital Preparatory Magnet School! Sincerely, Concerned parents, teachers, and staff from Capital Preparatory Magnet School.

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