Photo: Congestion near the Wellington on Common
Belmont Police Chief James MacIsaac has something to say to parents of school-age children: Tell your kids to take a walk! As in take a walk to school each day.
With vehicle trips returning to pre-pandemic levels and changing traffic patterns and street repairs leading to congested roadways during weekday mornings and afternoons, MacIsaac is asking parents to consider NOT driving the kids to school.
“Every week during the school year, we receive complaints that pertain to motor vehicle traffic around our schools” with “[t]he vast majority of violators we identify are parents,” said MacIsaac.
The troubles start with the realization that the parking lots of each school and the adjacent roads “are not conducive to the amount of traffic that occurs around start time and the end of the school day,” Belmont’s chief said in a press release.
Add to that road construction and new traffic patterns at the new Belmont Middle and High School, Chenery Middle School and the Wellington and Burbank elementary schools and the sum total equals a significant amount of traffic challenges that police are facing each day.
So MacIsaac is putting the question to parents: consider alternatives to the usual drive to and from school such as have children take the bus, ride a bike or walk with their child to school.
Rather than taking them to the schoolhouse door, parents can also park a block or two away so a student’s walk will be a short one. And if driving to school is the only option, parents should exercise patience and be considerate to walkers and other motorists while driving Belmont roads, said MacIsaac.