by Mike Knaak
After a one-week delay waiting for signs and barriers, the new student drop-off traffic plan at Pine Meadow Elementary School began Jan. 9.
The change blocks left turns into the school from Fifth Street N.
The change is needed, school and city officials said, because traffic is backing up on Pinecone Road as far south as City Hall around the 7:50 a.m. drop-off time. Officials were worried about traffic congestion and potential rear-end collisions, especially during bad weather.
Drivers no longer can turn left from Fifth Street North into the parking lot and barriers are in the middle of Fifth Street to block the entrance.
Instead of turning left from Fifth Street into the school parking lot, drivers head to the east end of Fifth Street, make a U-turn and line up for drop off facing west. In addition, the drop-off time will be extended by five minutes. Students will be allowed to enter the building at 7:45 a.m. and sit inside by the entrance until 7:50 a.m. when they will go to class.