WILMINGTON — Parents of East End Elementary students who drop off or pick up their children will need to form a new habit to not access the school from straight off Rombach Avenue.
The street adjacent to East End School grounds — Applegate Street — is now for one-way traffic only. Motorists who use Applegate Street are only permitted to go southbound to Rombach.
Here is the new route for drivers: Get onto Oak Street which is next to Fifth Third Bank, turn left onto East Columbus Street (the first street you will reach), and then take a left onto Applegate.
If you approach Oak Street via eastbound East Side Drive, you need to get into the left-hand turn lane. Similarly, if you approach Oak while traveling west on Rombach, be sure to get into the far right lane.
But don’t be surprised if at first you forget about the new traffic route to access East End School. Principal Jen Martin said a couple times she had to return to access Oak Street after not remembering to go the new way.
To assist with the changed traffic pattern, Wilmington police will be on hand during the first week of school, said Martin.
The change was prompted by a citizen frustrated about their literally eroding front lawn caused by parents parking on the front yard, said Marian Miller, executive assistant to the mayor.
After observing the scene during school hours, Miller and the city’s Maintenance & Repair superintendent felt there was a safety issue in addition to the property owner’s concern.
A part of the safety issue related to cars going around school buses that were parked to unload elementary-grades children, Miller said. The other safety concern stemmed from a visibility issue for motorists where East Columbus meets Applegate Street.
“We brainstormed about ways to protect the children and the lawn. We still feel there are some safety issues the school needs to address, but this is what the City could do,” said Miller.
She anticipates “a learning curve at the start of the school year,” and asked everyone to be patient and keep in mind the traffic restriction is a safety measure for children.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.