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New bus lot works well for Roosevelt, vehicle congestion an early annoyance

Students board buses Tuesday in the new bus lot at Roosevelt Elementary School in Willmar. Tribune photo by Ron Adams

WILLMAR -- A new bus parking and drop-off area north of Roosevelt Elementary School was a success on the first day of school.

Not so successful was the expanded car drop-off area in front of the elementary school, according to Roosevelt Dean of Students Nathan Cox.

The new bus lot with its own driveway behind the school was intended to help ease congestion at the car drop-off area in front of the school and improve safety for students getting off buses.

"It was a very safe drop-off," Cox said Tuesday afternoon.

"Mother Nature, with the wind, didn't help us much this morning," he added.

Cox said the parent drop-off areas in front of the school were "pretty chaotic" on the first morning.

Many parents like to walk their children to class on the first day, "which is great," he said, but it adds to congestion on the first day.

Some parents may not have been aware the front parking lot where buses used to be now offers two lanes for dropping off and picking up children if the parents don't plan on getting out of their cars, Cox said.

Two parents who posted Tuesday on the West Central Tribune's Facebook page reported problems with taking their children to Roosevelt.

"It was horrible trying to get into Roosevelt school today," because of the long line of cars, wrote Allison Bazaldua.

"The line of cars went around the corner from the stoplights and all of the way down to the Christian school," wrote Rachel Eichhorst. She waited to turn into the Roosevelt lot and then waited to find a parking spot, because she needed to go into the school, she wrote, but she expects the car lanes will work OK for those dropping off their kids.

The congestion should ease as parents adjust to the new traffic patterns and families get into their school routines, Cox said.

Linda Vanderwerf

I cover education issues for the West Central Tribune and have worked for the paper since 1995. I have worked in journalism since 1981.

Follow me on Twitter: @lindavanderwerf

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