If you find yourself driving around Hollywood School in Brookfield on school days, you might want to keep an eye out for new signs that’ll be erected soon pointing out changes to traffic rules there.
On Sept. 28, village trustees voted unanimously to institute a number of changes to address concerns about safety, particularly during morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up times.
The Brookfield Public Safety Commission earlier this year had recommended the changes after being approached by representatives of the Hollywood School PTA and the school’s principal.
While the village board did not agree to make the 3400 block of Hollywood Avenue one way going north during drop-off and pick-up times, Interim Superintendent Patrick Patt said he generally favored the village’s decisions.
“I’m pleased they did some very positive things,” Patt said. “But I still think I’d want to resurrect in six months the one-way for the two hours in the morning and afternoon.
“The fact that there’s a bunch of little kids out there with cars going both ways makes no sense at all to me.”
Apart from that, however, the village board agreed to just about every other traffic-safety request made by representatives from the school.
“We are very pleased that the board agreed with the majority of our recommendations,” said Hollywood PTA President Kristen Didio. “We believe these changes will make it safer for students and families traveling to and from school.”
First, Hollywood Avenue between Rockefeller and Washington avenues has been designated a school zone with a speed limit of 20 mph between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. on school days.
Washington Avenue between Woodside and Rosemear avenues is already designated a school zone, with signs indicating the reduced speed limit on school days.
Penalties for speeding within a school zone are strict, with a minimum fine of $150 for a first offense and $300 for a second offense.
In addition, left turns from northbound Hollywood Avenue onto westbound Washington Avenue are prohibited between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. on school days when children are present.
The left turn prohibition was made to eliminate vehicles turning through the crosswalk across Washington Avenue, located just west of Hollywood Avenue, which is offset in that area.
Finally, the village board reinforced an ordinance passed several years ago, prohibiting right turns from eastbound Rockefeller Avenue to southbound Hollywood Avenue between the hours of 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. on school days when children are present.
The intent of that law is to prevent as much southbound traffic as possible in front of Hollywood School during drop-off and pick-up times. The village board demurred on the one-way issue principally because it would have prevented those living on the west side of Hollywood Avenue from leaving their homes going southbound.
Patt said that making the street one-way for a limited amount of time on school days was not much of an inconvenience.
“What’s the downside? People have to drive around the block for a couple of hours a day,” Patt said. “It’s no biggie if you ask me.”
While the village board has already passed the new traffic laws near Hollywood School, police won’t immediately be enforcing it. Erecting the signs in and around the school will take a couple of weeks.