“The Grand Haven Area Public Schools and city staff have been trying for a number of years to improve traffic circulation at Lakeshore Middle School — previously Grand Haven High School — to provide better safety for people using the facility,” City Manager Pat McGinnis said.
The city had discussions with the Safe Routes to School program to see about making improvements near the school, but because bus traffic and parent drop-off/pick-up isn’t an eligible expense, they weren’t able to get money for the work.
“We weren’t able to get traction for that area around the school,” McGinnis said. “Safe Routes to School is immediately focused on kids in the immediate area walking and biking to school.”
The city worked with the school district to come up with a different solution. With voters having approved a school millage this past spring, financing is available to improve the school neighborhood’s traffic flow.
“The school has spent a great deal of time working with the architects that they have,” McGinnis said. “It was an elaborate study funded 50/50 by the schools and the city.”
The study reviewed conditions and made several recommendations.
The city’s public works and public safety staff have met with school district officials to refine the recommendations into a layout designed to create a safer environment for students — but, at the same time, won’t substantially impact traffic flow and convenience for others.
Based on the plan, the district considered making significant changes to Cutler Street in front of the school, from Colfax to Park. Curbs would be bumped out at Park and near Colfax on the school side, and a fenced median would be placed in the middle of the road to create a separate lane for buses to pick up and drop off students. As a narrower road, there would be no more on-street parking on Cutler.
City and school officials would like to use a temporary system first, and then try something more permanent if that system proves successful.
Read the complete story in today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.