Traffic congestion at Dassel Elementary discussed by council

DASSEL, MN – During the city council meeting last Monday, the Dassel council discussed parking congestion on the east side of Dassel Elementary.
Council Member Jason Benzing set up a PowerPoint presentation demonstrating the issue.

The problem happens when parents pick up and drop off kids on Guy Street, with some parents stopping in the traffic lane to pick up their children. There isn’t room enough for a line of parked cars and two active lanes of traffic, Benzing said.

Council Member Alesia Warner, who has kids at the elementary, said that Guy Street is the only area where parents are allowed to pick their kids up by the school.
Deputy Gordy Prochaska checked the vehicles parked along Guy and found them mainly to be employees of the school, he said. Administrator Myles McGrath observed that the parking appeared to contribute to the problem.

Benzing noted that kids walk between parked cars, across active lanes of traffic, in order to get to school. Ways to prevent jaywalking were discussed.

Prochaska said that safety of the students should be top priority. Benzing added that his driveway, which is one of two along that strip, has been blocked in the past, as well. No parking between the two driveways was suggested, as well as no parking between 2 to 5 p.m. Benzing produced a diagram (click here) that contained possible solutions, including a 15-minute pickup for parents along the southbound lane. It would be possible, Benzing suggested, for the school to set up temporary barriers during school pickup times, to control traffic.
Mayor Mike Scanlon said it sounded like a timing issue, with too many attempting to pick up all at once. It was discussed what time bussed students are released, and what time students who are picked up are released. Scanlon will meet with Principal Rob Nudell over the issue.

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