Austin Principal Abrams proposes parking restriction for child safety

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 29, 2003

R.L. Austin Principal Alton Abrams and the Georgiana Police Department officials want school parents’ help with a safety problem at the school.

Several cars have started parking across the street in front of the school and the parents are having the children cross the street through traffic to reach them.

&uot;The problem with this is sometimes our traffic control officer hasn’t gotten on duty to direct traffic before the children are released from school because he gets called for a police matter,&uot; Abrams said. &uot;So the children are crossing the street on their own. We have a lot of out-of-town traffic in this area because of the location of one of Hank Williams’ landmarks across the street, and they aren’t necessarily aware of the school’s location here. I’m afraid one of them could top the hill and not be able to stop if a child were crossing the street at the same time.&uot;

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Abrams said he is asking parents not to park across the street or on the grass adjacent to the one-way street that exits from the side of the school. Instead, he and the police department are asking parents to drive around to the rear of the school and park in the parents’ pick-up areas there.

&uot;The school will propose having &uot;no parking&uot; signs placed on the side of the street in the problem areas,&uot; Abrams said. &uot;Our main concern is the safety of our students, and those children crossing Palmer Avenue isn’t safe.&uot;

Abrams said the effort would be collaboration between himself and the police department.

&uot;They have worked very well trying to make sure the citizens and students around the R.L. Austin area safe,&uot; he said. &uot;They do an excellent job. A lot of folks don’t want to give them credit for it.&uot;

Georgiana Police Chief James Blackmon sent a letter to Abrams detailing his concerns about the problem.

&uot;I am hoping my department, along with your help, can make a safer environment for our students, parents and teachers,&uot; Blackmon said. &uot;After the &uot;no parking&uot; signs are posted, we will enforce this by writing citations for any violations.&uot;