“This gets backed up a lot,” said a woman waiting for her fourth grader Friday, March 11, after the closing bell.
The driver, who wouldn’t give her name, was hit by a truck in September after pulling out of a streetside parking space just two cars down from the school’s parking lot entrance. She said that drivers often swerve around slow and stopped cars, creating a dangerous situation for students.
“They don’t have consideration,” she said.
The city of Tracy hopes to solve this and other traffic-related issues at the school by turning stretches of Dove Drive immediately next to the school’s lone parking lot entrance into no-parking zones from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., while turning the bus turnout — currently a red zone — into a spot where parking is allowed.
Regular buses will still pick up students on Sycamore Parkway, just around the corner for the school at 1280 Dove Drive.
The City Council is expected to approve the changes at its Tuesday, March 15, meeting.
Hirsch parent Juan Rangel, parked Friday in what will soon be a no-parking zone, said that it might help during the busiest times of the day in front of the school.
“About 1:30 to 3 p.m., there’s a lot of traffic here, but later it clears up, about 3:30,” Rangel said.
Congestion and reckless driving are reported problems at many of the city’s schools, and for the past few years the city has made adjustments to parking and driving rules near several schools in an effort to improve safety for kids and drivers alike.
Also at Tuesday’s council meeting:
• The council will be asked to approve more money for a consultant that was hired to help organize a new computer aided dispatch-records management system for the Tracy Police Department. According to city staff, the current system is at the end of its lifespan, and the project, already “very highly technical and complex,” according to city staff, became even more difficult “when the needs of the city required the new CAD-RMS system to handle multi-jurisdictional and multi-agency capabilities.”
The maximum additional $272,500 will cover what the city calls the consultant’s increased time and services for the project, and will be paid for out of capital improvement expenditures approved in the 2008-09 fiscal year budget, and won’t affect this year’s budget.
• Approve hiring a full-time employee as an administrator to the CAD-RMS system. The position, which will cost the city $77,174 in salary and benefits for nine months, would be paid in full for nine months by a $100,000 state COPS grant. The balance of the grant could be used to pay for several pieces of technology to assist the police department, including video monitoring of the detention area, outfit all cruisers with Bluetooth hands-free headsets, and a computer system to help traffic cops and detectives reconstruct crash scenes.
• The council will have a hearing about how to spend $439,000 in Community Development Block Grants and $152,000 in HOME grants. City staff recommends putting the HOME money toward the city’s Down Payment Assistance Loan program, while the council will have several options for disbursing the CDBG money.