The Maplewood Police Department, working in conjunction with the South Orange-Maplewood School District, will be instituting new traffic pattern changes for schools located within Maplewood “one school at a time,” starting with Tuscan Elementary School on Monday, December 4.
The changes to Tuscan would take place during morning dropoff and afternoon pickup. Some streets (Harvard Avenue and Osborne Terrace) would become one-way at those times, with motorists being unable to turn from Valley Street onto Harvard or from Girard Place onto Osborne during dropoff/pickup times. Guardians are being encouraged to have children walk to school or park a few blocks away and walk. In addition, they are being asked not to make K turns on Harvard; a letter sent today also reminds guardians that there is no parking allowed in front of the school.
Maplewood Township Committee member Frank McGehee posted on the Village Green News & View Facebook group, “We will continue to address pedestrian safety — crossing guards, traffic patterns, etc. This is part of my platform to which I am committed.”
Acting Chief of Police Jim DeVaul told Village Green that the Maplewood Police will next be working with Maplewood Middle School and then Clinton School. DeVaul said he has already met with leaders at MMS.
“We need to closely monitor each location and make adjustments,” wrote DeVaul in an email. DeVaul said he is reviewing emails with residents’ concerns: “I understand change can be difficult but I have been asked to help by our schools and area residents and that exactly what I plan to do.”
In a letter sent to Tuscan families today, DeVaul wrote: “This new traffic pattern is part of an ongoing effort to improve student drop-off/pick-up, staff parking, traffic issues, and safety of our students. Similar initiatives are planned for other SOMSD schools in Maplewood as well. We thank you in advance for your cooperation and welcome suggestions and/or additional concerns. Please send all comments and recommendations to [email protected]
Read the full letter here:
Dear Tuscan Community:
The Maplewood Township Committee, the Maplewood Police Department and the South Orange Maplewood School District are working together to improve traffic and pedestrian safety in the area of Tuscan School. The goal is to create a safer environment around Tuscan School during the morning student drop-offs and afternoon pick-ups.
The following temporary traffic pattern changes will go into effect starting on Monday, December 4, 2017:
· Harvard Avenue will be blocked off with barricades at Valley Street preventing east bound traffic (uphill) on Harvard Ave
· Osborne Terrace will be blocked off with barricades at Girard Place preventing north bound traffic towards Harvard Ave
The changes will occur daily as follows:
8:00 am to 9:00 am
12:30 pm to 1:30 pm on 4 hour days when applicable
2:45 to 3:45 pm
Harvard Ave residents are asked to follow the flow of traffic during these times.
Parents dropping off children are asked not to make “K-turns” on Harvard and continue west on Harvard Ave to Valley Street as making a “K-turn” creates not only a hazardous condition but may cause additional traffic delays.
Parents are reminded that there is No Parking permitted in front of the school.
A Police Officer will be assigned on a temporary basis to assist motorists adapt to the changes.
We strongly recommend that you walk your child to and from school, when possible. If you drive, please take a route that allows you to follow the new flow of traffic around Tuscan School, or park on streets further away from the school.
This new traffic pattern is part of an ongoing effort to improve student drop-off/pick-up, staff parking, traffic issues, and safety of our students. Similar initiatives are planned for other SOMSD schools in Maplewood as well. We thank you in advance for your cooperation and welcome suggestions and/or additional concerns. Please send all comments and recommendations to [email protected]
We appreciate your continued partnership as we work to ensure the safety and well-being of the entire Tuscan community.
Maplewood Police Chief Jim DeVaul
Tuscan Principal Malikah Majeed
SOMSD Director of Safety & Security Tom Shea