Wednesday, May 17, 2006

For the kids: Unsafe parking at Kendale

MCPS designed inadequate parking at Kendale, with no safe space for parking or walking along Kendale Road.

All for the kids. The MCPS-approved architectural plan shows only 71 daytime parking spaces for the 740-child school (top parking lot), and another 46 spaces for "after-hour use."

Those extra spaces designed to be useless during the day because up to 12 school buses will need the space.

MCPS planned only 117 parking spaces for a school of kids from 400 to 500 families - plus faculty and staff - making school-wide evening and weekend events practically impossible.

To compensate for that problem, MCPS proposed burdening the families with twice as many events to attend and forcing siblings ("the kids") to split up. The MCPS idea was for Kendale to hold events for some grades on one evening, and events for other grades on another evening.

Parking is unsafe along Kendale Road, where the pavement is so narrow that two school buses cannot pass one another. There are no sidewalks and few if any street lights. The top MCPS construction official justified the lack of sidewalks by claiming - falsely - that no sidewalks existed for kids to walk or bike to Seven Locks. (For more pictures of the nonexistent sidewalk, click here.)

To accommodate the planned unsafe parking system, MCPS would have the county widen Kendale Road, thus creating more parking spaces on county easements, and not including the costs in the MCPS construction budget. MCPS did not provide that information to the County Council when seeking funds.