Skip to content

Before & After – Saline High School Parking Lot

August 7, 2009

One of the projects that we discussed during the Sinking Fund/CARES informational campaign this spring was the reconfiguration of the west parking lot at the High School.  For those who have been picking up or dropping off at peak times – you understand why this was an important adjustment.

We were able to add paving to connect the northwest lot with the southwest lot to allow for exiting without driving right up next the building.  Below is a picture from before and then one from today – after the paving.

Before

Before

After

After

picture-21

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Diana permalink
    August 11, 2009 2:43 pm

    Great fix for a dangerous problem. Thanks for addressing it!

  2. Kay permalink
    August 25, 2009 12:02 am

    I agree! It definitely was a problem that needed to be addressed. Although I’m having trouble picturing where that connector is located. Is it possible to show it from an overhead view or maybe just a diagram of the parking lot?
    Also, what are the parking lot changes going on over at the High School stadium? The changes seem to have made a major traffic flow problem over there now, particularly for dropping off or picking up kids.

  3. August 25, 2009 8:28 am

    Kay,

    I uploaded an overhead view. Click on the image and it gets bigger to get a sense of the intended traffic flow during peak use times.

    The changes to the parking lot directly south of the stadium are ongoing. We appreciate your patience as we develop the new entry point. We are planning to sealcoat and re-stripe the lot very soon. While we are losing several parking spots, the changes will greatly improve the safety and pedestrian flow inside the fenced area near the concession and bathroom facility.

    We are also encouraging student-athletes to walk over to the east side of the stadium to be picked up after practices and games.

  4. Kay permalink
    August 25, 2009 4:17 pm

    Thanks Scot. The overhead view helps! And it definitely looks like it will make for better traffic flow and a safer situation on the west entrance of the High School.

    I can also see where the east entrance for the stadium is on the picture. I definitely will start using that.

  5. Dave permalink
    August 30, 2009 4:54 pm

    I love the improvements for traffic flow near the High School. It is obvious that someone looked at the natural flow of traffic when developing this solution. Good Job.

    What I don’t understand are the changes near the Football Stadium. While I agree the changes to increase the traffic flow inside the fence near the concession and bathroom facility, the change in fencing to the extent done is overkill.

    This change has eliminated over 70 parking spaces, made the access for the Fire Dept. more difficult (the truck can no longer get near the hydrant without cutting the fence down), the soda truck delivery van can no longer access the concession stand to deliver goods to the stand and the pedestrians (if they will have any entering this entrance now that we have eliminated so many spaces) will have to deal with traffic while they attempt to enter the cement blocked walkway.

    Prior to this change the parking lot had a easy flow for student buses, parents who were picking up student athletes from practice, vendors deliverying goods and the fire and EMS units who were responding to matters. All these factors were ignored with this change. Beyond these issues, the pedestrains will now be dealing with parking cars and leaving cars moving through the same roadway as those cars looking for spaces. This is an accident waiting to happen.

    I understand neither the Pittsfield nor Saline Fire Departments approved of the changes with the hydrant not being moved but the District when ahead anyways.

    It seems like this new solution has created many more problems than it has solved. I encourage the School Administration to revisit this change before someone gets hurt. The District has two weeks before the first home game, this is enough time to fix this mistake before people get hurt.

  6. August 31, 2009 6:54 am

    Dave,

    I asked Mr. Rob White, Athletic Director, for details about the layout – here is the response.

    “This summer we have made two noticeable changes to the athletic complex at the high school.

    The first is a new entrance to the complex. Since we moved into the high school our administration has been concerned with the pedestrian traffic flow around the concession stand. The pathway in front of the concession stand was too narrow, creating a bottleneck effect for pedestrians trying to get in line for concessions. In addition, the congestion was so thick that spectators had difficultly getting to the restrooms. If there had been a situation that required a quick response from event staff or our public officials, the congestion could have created a very unsafe situation. To help alleviate the congestion, this new entrance was created. It is a temporary setup as we continue to study the situation and settle on a long-term solution. We felt it would be wise to do this evaluation in stages before we jump in, make quick decisions, and spend money on something that doesn’t solve our problems. We have also added newly painted arrows to help with the traffic flow and have created a painted walkway for pedestrians’ safety, something that was missing before.

    To build our new entrance and courtyard, we did lose some parking spaces. We also converted some of our parking spaces into more handicapped spaces. We have discovered over the last few years that our complex did not have adequate handicapped spots. For the majority of the events that are held in our complex, we have plenty of parking. Only five or six times a year do we really struggle with enough parking spots, and we felt the safety of our spectators was a priority over close parking spots.

    As for the concerns expressed about the EMS, fire trucks, busses and our vendors, we have studied those issues with all parties involved. First, concerning the EMS, they can enter the complex through six different gates. In the past we had only five gates. None of those five gates were disrupted by the changes. Secondly, we have spoken to the Pittsfield Fire Department and they have assured us that they have the access they need to utilize the fire hydrant for the complex. However, we are still considering moving the hydrant as part of our ongoing evaluation of improvement. The fire hydrant was originally placed in a location that neither the Pittsfield Fire Department nor the school thought was safe because it was too close to the concession stand. We are waiting on estimates and drawings from the Pittsfield Fire Department in order to consider the options concerning relocating the fire hydrant. Thirdly, concerning bussing, our visitors’ busses will use the same traffic flow they have in the past. Every visiting school is asked to enter from the south of the complex, drop their athletes at the gate closest to the stairs, and then park their bus in the bus loop. Lastly, for vendors the gate in the newly created courtyard provides quicker access to the concession area. However, the vendors can still utilize the old gate they used in the past.

    Besides the modified, less-congested entrance to the stadium, the second noticeable change we made to the athletic complex is a new, large scoreboard in the northeast corner of Hornet Stadium. It is a very attractive addition to the stadium and will ensure that all spectators can easily follow the score.

    We have several home events over the next few weeks, and we hope you’ll come out to see the improvements to Saline High School’s Athletic Complex as you cheer on our Hornets.”

  7. Dave permalink
    August 31, 2009 12:45 pm

    Thanks for the information, however the solution to eliminate over 70 parking spots and move the entrance gate have created more problems than it has solved.

    If the fence had been moved 12 feet out from where it was, and made the roadway in front of the concession stand a one way pattern, none of the other problems that have been created would exist and the problem you were trying to fix would have been addressed at significantly less cost and without creating the additional problems you have created.

    While I appreciate your thinking about this matter, based on real experience at the four events since you have made this change, no one I have talked with is in agreement with the approach you have taken in this matter.

    I encourage you to revisit the design choice you have made. Based on feedback from over 100 attendees at recent events including members of the school board, the Pittsfield Fire Department and the construction company personnel you hired to make these changes, the choice you have made does not meet the standard of public opinion of the community you serve.

    For your consideration.

  8. Don permalink
    September 10, 2009 2:07 pm

    I’m mostly happy with the HS parking lot changes, from what I’ve seen so far. However, one dangerous “driver behavior” issue remains unchanged and unresolved. For events after school hours, I see parents who come to pick up kids pulling up and standing at curbside near the high school athletic entrance. Worse yet, they do this on both the school side (east) and the opposite (west) side of that entrance drive. This leaves a single narrow lane between the two rows of cars that moving traffic must use. Early Wednesday evening I noticed a particularly scary situation in which both sides of the drive were packed with standing cars, some younger children were exiting the building (presumably from a pool event as many were in swimwear), and a school bus was entering to bring the tennis team back to school. The bus had to navigate the narrow canyon between the standing cars, and some of the small kids had to cut between stopped cars and go across the drive through traffic to meet those parents who were actually in the legal parking spaces in the lot where they belonged. Thankfully everyone drove carefully and nothing bad happened.

    Something really needs to be done to stop this. I hate to say this, but a visit from the Pittsfield police to pass out some tickets to the standing cars is probably called for. At the very least, some stern warnings should be given (with follow up tickets for those who still think the rules don’t apply to them). If everyone waiting for kids just parked in the lot, the wide open drive would make traffic much safer, kids crossing would be clearly visible and not hidden between parked cars, and there would be enough room for everyone.

  9. Mike permalink
    September 11, 2009 12:51 pm

    I agree with Don’s comments about driving habits near the High School, maybe the good idea of Ben Williams about using a one way traffic pattern should be adopted for all the time rather than just at the start and end of the school day? It might also make sense to cut the curb and create waiting spaces for parents picking up or dropping off kids for before or after school programs. Both of these options will help reduce the problem Don described.

    Unfortunately, with the elimination of the parking spaces at Stadium, parents who previously did use the parking spaces to wait for kids, now don’t have that ability. We have close to 160 cars picking up kids from practice between 5:30 and 6:00 p.m. every day. The changes to the entrance and the fencing was to address the 4 games per year where the stadium is at capacity for a sporting event. So the change fixed a people traffic flow problem for 4 days per year and created a car traffic problem for 4 days per week for 7 months a year. (Football/Field Hockey and Soccer/Lacrosse seasons).

    The elimination of these parking spots and the elimination of the previous traffic flow has now created a situation where cars are now double and triple parking while waiting for kids to get out of practice. They do this because they have no other place to park where their child can see them or they can see their child to pick them up.

    Unlike the situation near the school, using the parking lot is not an option, someone reduced the number of parking slots from a number that worked, to create the problem we have today. Let’s hope no one get hurt before someone fixes this dangerous situation.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: