Anyone who has ever dropped a kid off at or picked one up from a school knows how crazy the traffic can be. People get impatient, trying to inch either in or out of the pick-up lane. Some people, eager to get out of the crowd, make abrupt U-turns or pull into driveways in order to go back in the other direction. Meanwhile, kids — sometimes very young kids — are hopping out of cars and things are generally dangerous.
The Brookfield Village Board last week attempted to solve some of the traffic safety problems that crop up around Hollywood School each day, by enacting some new rules.
All of them are good ideas. For whatever reason, Hollywood Avenue in front of Hollywood School was never made a school speed zone prior to last week. So the board’s action reduced the speed limit to 20 mph on school days when kids are present.
Another good idea is prohibiting the left turn from northbound Hollywood Avenue onto westbound Washington Avenue. Hollywood Avenue is offset at Washington, with the 3400 block located a good piece west of the 3500 block.
As a result, one of the main crosswalks leading to the school is located just west of the 3500 block of Hollywood Avenue, and cars making a left turn there do so right through that crosswalk. The new rule will eliminate itchy drivers from trying to force their way west in between students crossing at the crosswalk.
Of course, some may still try, but they risk getting ticketed now.
In order to prevent as much northbound traffic in the 3400 block of Hollywood Avenue during those busy school drop-off and pick-up times, the board also passed (for the second time, it turns out) a law prohibiting right turns from eastbound Rockefeller Avenue onto southbound Hollywood Avenue.
The two new laws against turns in the areas could be seen as an inconvenience to people who live near the north end of the 3500 block of Hollywood Avenue and the east end of Rockefeller Avenue.
Folks who would have otherwise made those turns to get where they wanted to go are now going to have to go in the opposite direction. Basically, they have to drive around the block.
The village board didn’t seem too concerned with this inconvenience, and why would they? It’s not that big a deal.
So, we’re a little confused as to why it’s such a big deal to make the 3400 block of Hollywood Avenue one way going north on school days.
The stated reason was that it would inconvenience the eight homeowners whose driveways exit onto the block and prevent them from leaving the neighborhood in a southerly direction.
But if we’re really concerned about student safety, we can believe that making the street one way during the school day — heck, you could make it for two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon — would be more of an imposition than the turn bans that have been enacted.
So, you have to drive around the block. It’s really not a big deal. Make it one way.