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Daily Wadsworth Elementary Jam On Parkview Drive Should End as No Parking Signs Go Up

| October 17, 2011

Daily mess: after 3 p.m. on weekdays, Parkview Drive along the north end of Wadsworth Elementary turns into a hazardous parking lot. (© FlaglerLive)

You can see them begin to line up after 3 p.m. on both sides of Parkview Drive, just north of Wadsworth Elementary. It’s not a parking zone, exactly, but every afternoon it turns into a parking lot, narrowing the two-lane road from both sides as parents who don’t want to go through the car-rider line wait to pick up their children.

For a while, it looks only like a busy city street with cars parked on both sides. Immediately after dismissal, however, the street turns into something like a teeming hazard: children—very young children—pour out of the school and begin to cross the street, usually with their eyes on their destination (their parent, their car, their dog in the car) rather than on the two-way traffic. That traffic can itself slow to a crawl as drivers are mindful of children or, in some cases, as more parents jam up the road to pick up a child.

Meanwhile those who have their car-rider number wend their way through Wadsworth’s campus and back out around Frieda Zamba Park in a wide circle, itself a crawl that, apparently, those who park on Parkview don’t want to navigate. Parents who do go through the car-rider line are not too appreciative of the fact that, while they follow the rules, they get jammed up once they make it out onto Parkview.

“When you have people pulling over on both sides of a two-lane road, it creates a traffic problem,” says Robin Dupont, Wadsworth’s principal.

It’s been going on for a few years. No one’s been hurt. But parents, school administrators and Andy Dance, the school board member, think it’s time to put an end to the mess, safely.

Later this month—possibly later this week—No Parking signs will go up on either side of Parkview, past Plainview Drive. Flagler County Sheriff’s Office deputies will patrol the street. They won’t be ticketing anyone who still parks there at first: there’ll be an education campaign to get parents better aware of the new rules, Dance said. But eventually, those who persist in parking on Parkview will be ticketed.

“From a safety standpoint, when something bad happens and you’ve known about a problem, you don’t want something bad happening when there’s a history of complaints and nothing was done,” Dance said. “Hopefully we’ve caught it in time before something bad happened and somebody got hurt.”

The sheriff’s office couldn’t keep people from parking on Parkview because, legally, drivers were doing nothing wrong. Unless No Parking signs are posted, anyone can park anywhere—yes, even along your own property or across from it (though most people think they own that stretch of road), as long as the vehicle is not actually on your property. For parking to cease along Parkview, the city of Palm Coast had to agree to put up No Parking signs there.

Between Dupont, Dance, Mike Judd—a senior school district administrator—the sheriff’s office and the city administration, an agreement was finally reached to put up the signs.

What some drivers are trying to avoid: the Wadsworth car-rider line as it exits around Frieda Zamba Park. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Most of Wadsworth’s 935 students take the bus. Dupon didn’t know exactly how many were car-riders, but the line is long and can take 15 to 20 minutes to clear. Many of those parking along Parkview are picking up children who live within 1 mile of the school, making them ineligible for bus-riding—but entirely eligible to be car-riders. One parent picking up her children last Friday said she didn’t have a car-rider number, as required to be eligible for the line, and didn’t always pick up her children. She was not aware of the pending rules, nor had received any notice about the change. Another parent who had just parked across from the intersection of Parkview and Plainview, and was calling out to her daughter, was actually glad to hear of stricter rules, describing the street as a hazard at that time.

Dupont said the school is letting parents know that they can get themselves a car-rider number. “We’re streamlining out car-rider line to make it move quicker,” Dupont said. “I’ve sent messages home to parents about what the procedure is and hopefully that will help the situation.”

“We’re working to make it run smoother to accommodate all concerned and to make sure that our children are safely transported home,” Dupont added. “It’s getting better and I’m thinking with the cooperation of the city of Palm Coast and transportation and everybody involved, we’re going to have a good resolution to this situation.”

More Parkview parking. (Contributed by Andy Dance)

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13 Responses for “Daily Wadsworth Elementary Jam On Parkview Drive Should End as No Parking Signs Go Up”

  1. tulip says:

    It’s about time something is really going to be done about this. As the school population has grown, so have the number of cars. If there was ever an emergency at that time, It could impair firetrucks, ambulances, etc. from getting there quickly.

  2. Citizen says:

    The car rider line does not work. Flagler schools have not met the needs of parents picking up their children at school. 20 minutes waiting on line and then another 20 mintes to get off the line? That’s rediculous.
    I think a bigger problem that we have on Parkview is the speeders, not the parked cars.

  3. gobstopped says:

    This problem exists at most of the elementary schools. It’s the same thing at Rymfire. You’ve got to get there 40 minutes before school lets out if you want to avoid the traffic jams. In many cases, it’s just parents not wanting to abide by the “spirit” of the law who feel their time is too precious to wait in line with the rest of us.

  4. Kim says:

    This is probably something that no one has thought about, but if the light at Parkview Dr. and Belle Terre would stay green a little longer to let some of car rider traffic out, there wouldn’t be such a traffic jam from the car rider line. I am in that line everyday, and I think they are doing a wonderful job of getting the children into their cars, but once you drive away, the line to exit is insane! I am very happy to see the ‘no parking’ signs go up. The cars on the sides of the roads do make it impossible to get thru there in the afternoons.

  5. Brittney says:

    Rymfire needs to do something as well…. Parents, need to learn how to FOLLOW RULES…. and realize they are no more important than anyone else…. but that might be to much to ask from them.

  6. palmcoaster says:

    I see for the pictures on this article once more, that the rule about kids that live within a mile from the school not being eligible for the school bus ride “totally non acceptable” as we all know and is shown in the pictures that our children do not have sidewalks to safely walk or ride their bikes for that one mile exception. I opposed this measure from the start. Here in Florida we pay pretty hefty school taxes to force our kids to walk the mile with no sidewalks unlike in developed cities they have. Even with kids having to walk the mile in cities sometimes get snatched by predators and murdered on their way home.
    My school taxes keep raising and the services to our students keep on diminishing. No rational mind can accept that minors walk a mile on the traffic shoulder or right of way because there are no sidewalks? When are we all going to take a stand and demand that all students get a school bus ride? What do they do in Florida with my school taxes and the billions of lottery revenue other than providing what we pay for to the students? And now they won’t allow those parents a place to park or stop their cars to pick up those kids? Give these parents and students a break by seating these kids back in the school buses within the mile residence or not, that is what I pay my school taxes for and not only for overpriced capital improvements benefiting developers, at times with ties to some school board members, or for these charters. Now we have empty class rooms that have to be costly maintained in Flagler Schools because kids are being transferred to de brand new and shinny charters and less, but also because parents move away looking for work…but we do not have the school busses rides for all? When enough is enough? My kids are 40 and up now and I do not understand how come these parents in Florida do not raise some good holly h… over these new abusive rules. Every time school officials think about savings go and hit these kids well being, education and safety so the frivolous spending can be afforded. Are Flagler parents looking into what these schools spend the taxes we all pay to them? I recall like back then, blackberries for all, free use of credit cards for all, approval of school plans to developers (one of them having a relative of a very influential school board member) that were flawed costing millions wasted and never fully refunded. Someone needs to get the magnifying glass here like was done in Broward County.
    Have the School Board to restore the school bus ride for all and now. Then if parents choose to pick up their kids anyway (I doubt it)…put up the Non Parking Signs.

  7. global3922 says:

    Kids should take the school bus, courtesy of taxpayers. The only fews living near by can walk home. Cars jamming the roads should get tickets thanks to parents stupidity. No excuses.

  8. PalmCoastPioneers says:

    On some lazy Sunday afternoon or no rush day see if you note this in Levitt I.T.T. ‘Palm Coast Project’:

    ‘… Unlike Levittown, N.Y., which arose in an improvised frenzy, Levittown, Pa., was planned down to the last shrub and sewer grating. No residential intersection had four corners. No school child would ever have to cross a main street to walk to school…’

    That is why there are massive amounts of ‘Reserved Parcels’ acreage within the Residential Neighborhood within all the ‘Communities of Palm Coast’. They are pursuant the State ‘Agreements’ between Palm Coast, Inc. and the State of Florida Department of Community Affairs.
    The ‘Reserved Parcels’ a.k.a. ‘Blue Lands’ ( each and every area in Palm Coast , Inc. is color coded to indicate its specific planned use )
    are for future schools, churches, firechouses, parks, etc., which are needed as each Residential Section reaches ‘Build – out’.

    You can read more about this at the University of Florida within the Internationally known designer of ‘The Palm Coast Project’ – John Olsmbee Simonds at:

    There were many famous Internationally known people involved with the ‘Palm Coast Project’. Another is Internationally known Marc Szabo who designed ‘The Palm Club’. We are Stewards of the only remaining full sized copies of the Beautiful Pen and Ink Sketches he made for Palm Coast, Inc. They are outstanding and we are preserving these so hopefully future Palm Coasters can see them if Palm Coast ever get a Museum like other Florida Leadership Cities already have and like Flagler Beach has.

    Today, these works of art are Computer Assisted whereas Marc Szabos’ work done then were all done by hand. They are more than OUTSTANDING and we are very proud of them all.

    Marc Szabo still maintains a Studio in Argentina and also his Studio in L.A. –

    N-E way, hopefully soon there will be sidewalks around the already long planned last Century ‘…shrubs and sewer grates…’.

  9. Binkey says:

    Gobstopped, why get to car riders 40 minutes early?
    At Rymfire most students on most days are through the line by 3:30. I just go a little later, instead of being first. I do wish there was a way to have the car rider line not go through the parking lot. That is dangerous.

    I do agree that the students who walk to a parked car is problematic. that is right where the bus exit is, but as it was explained to me, cars parked on the road are not on school property. The city has control of that, not the schools. It appears that the city is doing something about it at Wadsworth.

  10. Binkey says:


    Hefty school taxes compared to where??
    The state does not provide funding for transportation for students who live within a certain distance from school. Yet it costs money to provide that service. Complain to your legislature that schools cannot provide the services you expect.

  11. palmcoaster says:
    Dear Blindkey… if we are over 94 thousand residents in Flagler with about 50,000 homes paying the school tax maybe an average at least $1800/each that (as my friend in the Intracoastal pays $4,000 only on school tax and I pay $1,600 and an elderly relative pays $500 all in 2011) generates 90 million dollars that distributed among 13,000 registered students more or less funds with about $7,000 for each of them as per the pie enclosed above shows us, that the local taxes are only 44% of the revenue paid to schools per student, the state thru their sales taxes etc. contributes 47% more and the Fed from 16% to as low as 5% of the total depending the state. Does the state includes the billions in lottery revenue income for the schools, or they just keep it for their frivolous extra tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations?? Then 7,000 contributed by our homes, plus 47% more contributed by the state will be over $9.500 plus 10% more at least from the fed…Where all that money goes if each Flagler student cost an average $6,800 each in school and this total comprises all expenditures for each student?
    Your advise me about contacting these tainted legislators lobbying only for the wealthy and themselves and is a waste of my time and you know it.
    Thank God my kids are long over, graduated…I am putting this time for the parents and students of today as I feel sorry over the abuses taking place since primary and secondary education in America is not a right but a privilege as I read, unfortunately.

  12. PCmom says:

    Wadsworth isn’t the only traffic jam. Since this article was published on October 17th, I have been the victim of traffic jams at the Imagine School at The Town Center. One day, after sitting idle for several minutes (no movement in either direction) I contacted the Flagler County Sheriff’s Department to file a complaint. I asked the deputy I spoke with to “imagine” someone in an emergency trying to make their way to the hospital coming from Royal Palms Parkway turning South on Town Center Blvd. It’s impossible & impassable! We have a considerable number of older people who live in the area. Imagine trying to get through and waiting behind a huge line of cars waiting for the school to release kids to parents who insist on showing up first for the car rider line. And then just sit there for who-knows how long?! There’s no volunteers or officers to assist in moving these cars off the road so drivers can continue through the area. And because of the height of the curb, no alternate lane, there’s no way to pass! I will continue to call each and every time I am delayed in the same area. With regards to the sidewalks near the schools…It’s such a shame that the powers-that-be never budgeted for said sidewalks when schools like Bunnell Elementary was under construction a few years ago. It’s as if the team of architects designed it with no real “access” in mind. It’s really sad to see everyone trample through the landscaped areas out front when schools like Belle Terre Elementary have numerous sidewalks and are well prepared for walkers. Another unfortunate and unsafe area: the receiving/loading area gate is unlocked and wide open during school hours. But that’s another story! “Imagine” traffic offenders paying fines in and around schools and that $ going directly to that school to improve car rider lines, sidewalks and & pay crossing guards AND keep ignorant and non-compliant parents in check. They should be dismissed from car rider lines just like kids who don’t behave on school buses. Learn the rules, follow them or lose the privilege. NOW…Imagine that!

  13. Living by Wadsworth says:

    I live by Wadsworth, and have had up to 3 of my children attending Wadsworth and then Buddy Taylor. Since we of course live within 1 mile of the school my kids don’t get a school bus ride. They must walk, or at times I pay a neighbor to get them and in some rare cases I can get off work early to pick them up. I have two young kids left at Wadsworth and I will tellyou what: I will pick up my kids anyway I see fit. If its cold or the weather is bad or if I decide to park on the side of the road and pick them up by the walker exit then that is what I will do. Even though I am a homeowner and pay my taxes every year I don’t get the same services as someone who lives 1.2 miles away from the school. If my kids walk in the morning but the weather gets bad last minute I am going to drive up and get them, rather than go through the endless hassle of getting the school to move them from a walker to a car rider, or confuse the children even more as to what they are supposed to do. They tote the car pick up line as the way to go, yeah right! Literally a 40 minute ordeal. I don’t know how some parents can do it with work demands. Since the no parking signs have went up I go ahead and park near the tennis courts. Next thing you know, we’ll be told not to park in there either. But goodluck enforcing that rule if they get the City to bow to that too. My tax dollars paid for the park, paid for the right of way on Parkview AND paid for the no parking signs. WHAT I WANT IS MY TAX DOLLARS THAT WERE USED TO PAY FOR THE BUSES TO BE USED A PROVIDE MY KIDS’ BUS RIDE TO SCHOOL!!!!

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