Parents, school want drivers to obey stop signs
Sitting out in front of the three-way intersection at Dorchester Way and Manchester Drive near Glenshire Elementary School, one can see it all: the creepers, the California stops, those who blatantly run the stop signs and the few who actually come to a halt.
It’s the ones who boldly drive through the stop sign who make Paula Wickstrom angry; one of them hit her son a few weeks ago while he was walking to school. Fortunately, the driver only struck his backpack and spun him around.
Last week, Wickstrom’s daughter had a near miss with a vehicle that didn’t stop at the same intersection. Both times, Wickstrom was able to get the information from the suspects’ license plates and gave it to police.
“The part I don’t understand is it’s the parents that don’t stop,” said Wickstrom, who lives a couple doors down from the intersection. “They’re dropping their kids off and running the stop sign. I don’t know what they’re thinking to be honest with you.”
Heather Stokes, who also lives on Dorchester near the intersection, said Wickstrom’s children are both “very conscientious” about looking both ways before they cross the street. However, Stokes said she was not surprised that they almost got hit, considering the way people drive on her street.
“It’s scary to think about what’s going to have to happen for something to change,” she said.
Stokes has two children who are not old enough to attend the elementary school, and she said she worries about them playing out in front of her house because of reckless drivers.
The Truckee Police Department has increased its patrol near the elementary school. Sgt. Jeff Nichols said the police department is under-staffed, but he has tried to keep a patrol car near the intersection before and after school.
“The presence of our vehicle should get people to think about what they are doing,” Nichols said. “People just need to pay attention.”
Glenshire Elementary Principal Kathleen Gauthier sent a flyer home with all students on Friday in an attempt to increase parent awareness.
The notice offers suggestions, like arriving at school early, picking up children a little late and allowing students to ride the bus, which Gauthier said is the safest way for children to get to and from school.
Most of the drivers who enter the intersection going toward the elementary school come from Dorchester, on which there are speed limit and school zone signs and a warning of the approaching stop sign.
However, Gauthier said a big problem with the intersection is that the crosswalk paint has worn away.
Tamara Blanton, administrative assistant with the Town of Truckee, said the next crosswalk striping is scheduled for late February or early March, or “once we get warmer days,” she said.
Blanton added that the town Public Works Department has trimmed the trees around the intersection to improve visibility. Also, she said the town has considered installing thermoplastic inlays – like those used on the crosswalk on Donner Pass Road and state Route 89 south – which withstand the weather a bit more than paint.
Regardless of steps taken by the school, town and police department, families near Glenshire Elementary said they just want people to pay attention before something tragic happens.
Stokes had some words for drivers who don’t observe the traffic laws: “The 40 seconds or one minute faster it takes to get somewhere when you’re speeding isn’t going to make a difference if you hit someone’s kid.”
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If Israel and the United Kingdom are any indication, widespread vaccination will knock the pandemic down to … normal life. Something near.