Changes set to make trip to Craig Middle School, Sandrock Elementary School safer, more efficient | CraigDailyPress.com

Changes set to make trip to Craig Middle School, Sandrock Elementary School safer, more efficient

CRAIG — New sidewalks and changes to traffic flow are expected to help make dropping off and picking up students safer and more efficient at Sandrock Elementary and Craig Middle schools.

Changes to traffic conditions have been been made to accommodate the larger number of students who will be attending Sandrock Elementary School after the recent closure of East Elementary. New sidewalks along streets approaching both schools are the result of a city project supported by grants from the Safe Routes to Schools initiative.

Traffic conditions

"There will be school district personnel helping to direct and support traffic during the first weeks of school," according to an update sent to parents by the schools.

Parents are asked to use the Ninth Street curbside in front of the school for drop off and pick up.

New signs along the north side of Ninth Street mark the new drop-off/pick up zones and remind drivers the zones are for short stops that do not require the driver to exit the vehicle.

New curbside signs along ninth street designate drop-off/pickup zones near the middle and elementary schools.

There will no longer be parking or drop-off/pick up zones on Rose Street on the east side of Sandrock.

All parking spaces off Rose Street are now designated as staff parking only to help accommodate the increased number of staff now working at the school.

School staff will no longer park in front of the building. All diagonal parking spots in front of the school will be available to families during pickup and drop off.

The southeast parking lot at Sandrock Elementary School is reserved for staff.

The drive lanes in front of the building are now “Kiss and Go” lanes, meaning parking is not permitted, especially in the morning.

"If you need to walk your student in, please park in a designated space in the parking lot," the update states.

Bus riders will still be dropped off and picked up behind Sandrock in the Bus Zone.

Students who are being picked up by family after school will be released to the front door of the building each day.

Parking map indicating new conditions at Sandrock Elementary School.

Avoid the crush

Improvements have been made to widen and add handicap accessible ramps to sidewalks on Tucker, Russell and Rose Streets to the south of both schools.

The City of Craig received a little less than $180,000 in grant funding from the Colorado Department of Transportation Safe Routes to Schools initiative that originally was slated to improve sidewalks along two of the three streets. A sidewalk was added to Tucker Street increasing the cost of the project by $20,000. The extra cost was "worth it," said Parks and Recreation Director Dave Pike.

The improvement not only benefits children walking to the school, it will also allow parents to drop-off and pick up their children along a safe route avoiding areas closer to the schools where traffic congestion will be higher.

School staff have asked the community to "please be patient with fellow families and staff as we all adjust to this change. Remember, student safety is our top priority. Thank you, in advance, for your understanding and support."

Parents with questions about the new traffic conditions are invited to call Sandrock Elementary School at 970-824-3287.

Craig Press reporter David Tan contributed to this story. Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com.

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