November 12 2015

The Waban Area Council will be hosting a program and discussion to explore student arrival and departure patterns and policy at the soon-to-be reopened Angier School. We will be meeting at our regularly scheduled time, 7:30pm on Thursday, November 12 at the Waban Library Center, and aside from two very short items we need to address as a Council (our October Minutes and our Treasurer’s Report), the entire meeting will be devoted to this important subject.
 
Angier will not be the only school facing transportation pattern changes after rebuilding or renovating and we think this discussion may be helpful in many communities to promote the merits and safety of motivating active transportation and best practices.
 
Angier Principal, Loreta Lamberti, will be there and will begin the discussion with her expectations of this process. Angier Safe Routes to School Volunteers will speak about the walk-and bike-to-school promotions they organize, and any changes in their plans for the new school. Newton Police Captain Marc Gromada will address crossing guard and safety concerns. The entire Newton School Committee, Angier’s PTO and the City’s Department of Public Works have also been invited. In addition, we hope to engage with our residents about what they have learned during the year and a half of student bus transportation to the Carr School.


WABAN AREA COUNCIL MEETING AGENDA
Thursday, November 12, 2015, 7:30 PM - Waban Library Center
Following 6:30 PM Angier-Zervas Community and Construction Team Meeting

 

1. APPROVAL OF OCTOBER 8, 2015 MEETING MINUTES: JC (2 min)
 

2. APPROVAL OF NOVEMBER 12, 2015 TREASURER’S REPORT: RG (5 min)
 

3. WAC SPONSORED PROGRAM: DISCUSSION OF STUDENT ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE POLICIES WHEN ANGIER REOPENS (Led by Waban Area Councilor, Andreae Downs)

a. Comments from Loreta Lamberti, Principal of Angier.

b. Comments from Safe Routes to School Program Coordinators.

c. Comments from Newton Police Captain Marc Gromada on placement of crossing guards

d. Open discussion.
 

4. ANNOUNCEMENTS/REMINDERS:

The nine Councilors elected to serve on the Waban Area Council for the 2016-2018 term to be sworn-in January 2016 are:

    Isabelle Albeck, Pia Bertelli, Joe Corkery, Andreae Downs, Rena Getz,
    Sallee Lipshutz, Chris Pitts, Maureen Reilly-Meagher, and Kathy Winters

 

5. ADJOURN: Next Waban Area Council Meeting: December 10, 2015, 7:30PM, Waban Library Center 

 

We encourage you to contribute to the Newton Food Pantry, housed in the basement of the Waban Library Center, by bringing non-perishable food items when you attend our monthly meetings!

The location of this meeting is handicap accessible, and reasonable accommodations will be provided to persons requiring assistance. If you need a special accommodation, please contact John Lojek, at least two days in advance of the meeting: jlojek@newtonma.gov or 617-796-1064. For Telecommunications Relay Service dial 711.

 
Meeting Date: 
Thursday, November 12, 2015 - 7:30pm

Waban Area Council Meeting Minutes November 12, 2015, 7:30pm

Members in Attendance: Joe Corkery, Kathy Winters, Sallee Lipshutz, Andreae Downs, Barbara Bower, Chris Pitts, Rena Getz, Maureen Reilly-Meagher, Isabelle Albeck (WAC elect), Pia Bertelli (WAC elect) City Officials: John Rice (Ward 5 Alderman), Loreta Lamberti (Angier Principal), Steve Siegel & Diana Fisher-Gomberg (School Committee), Tom Gloria (Design Review Committee), Shane Mark (DPW), David Koses (Transportation Planner), Capt. Marc Gromada, Jay Babcock (Traffic Sergeant), Dawn Fleming (School Safety Officer) Other attendees: Theresa Fitzpatrick, Alicia Bowman (Safe Routes to School), Kelly Flannery, Stephanie Weitzman, Stephanie Huang, Lauren Hunt, Nelson Lipshutz, Jessica Rhein, Deena David, Paul Geltman, Sean Roche (Transportation Advisory Group), many others

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Meeting called to order at 7:35 PM Secretary’s Report: KW moves to approve minutes from October 8 meeting. BB seconds. Unanimously approved.

Treasurer’s Report: RG notes that we are in the process of reconciling expenses for tri-council event. Reimbursed MRM who fronted the costs of the video editing. Outstanding balance of $1828.72.

WAC Sponsored Program: Discussion of Student Arrival and Departure Policies when Angier Reopens AD describes purpose of this special meeting. Loretta Lamberti provides update on plan for return to Angier.

Reports opening day is Wednesday, Jan 6. Bell will ring at 8:20 AM. All teachers will meet children outside.

First three days, parents will deliver children to teachers and then teachers will bring children in together. Parents can check in with teachers after school. School will start promptly at 8:30. As a result of buses arriving at 8:20, children have been settled and started learning at 8:30 at Carr. Have gained 20 min of teaching time as a result. Plan to continue that at Angier. 64 parking spaces behind school, but over 90 staff members. Teachers used to park on Beacon, but commuter parking may make that challenging. Don’t want the live parking area to have parents parking and getting out of cars. Will have staff and parent volunteers to greet children there. Theresa Fitzpatrick and Alicia Bowman (Safe Routes to School): try to encourage children to walk or to take the bus. Majority of children live within 1 mile of school which is a walkable distance. At least 25% of traffic in Newton (ca. 10,000 trips/day) is parents driving children to & from school. Dawn Fleming: crossing guards will be at Woodward & Chestnut, Woodward & Beacon, Windsor & Beacon, in front of school. There will be a crossing signal at the end of Manitoba. Will be a pedestrian signal (HAWK light) put in in front of Waban Kitchen. Community comments: KF: would love to see parent volunteers to help with live dropoff SR (on transportation advisory group - from Bowen community): recommend creating feeling of obligation on parents who drive to school to help with live dropoff. Barbara ? (on Manitoba): can children who are walking enter school without crossing a line of traffic? DF: sidewalks on both sides that go up to school. teachers will already be in the school parking lots. only fire department can go around back of school and out. Paul Geltman on Pine Ridge: would like to see traffic light at Windsor/Woodward/Beacon intersection. Also worried about relying on street parking for teachers, as there was a big disconnect with DPW, and sidewalks weren’t shoveled. Need to ban parking in front of Good Shepherd Church during drop-off / pickup because lanes are so narrow. Shane (DPW) working closely with all parts of the city to plan for winter. Please remember that last winter was an extreme winter and not the norm. Tested travel lanes in front of Good Shepherd and found drivers had no trouble staying within their lanes, even with cars parked. Alicia Bowman: Everybody needs to shovel their sidewalks. Andrea Nadai: concerned about how narrow the new intersection is and how it will be in winter. especially worried about walking when sidewalks not shoveled. Shane: design is intentional to slow cars down. in past have failed to get out there and haul snow right away. so, as a result there was no catching up. this season, after each snow storm, as long as there is snow on the ground, will have DPW trucks out there doing continued push backs. Reminder if you use private contractors to plow, shovel - snow needs to remain on your property. Jay Babcock will be ticketing contractors ($100--first offense, up to $300 for third & subsequent offenses) for leaving snow in the street. will give them 1 hour to deal with. if can’t get contractor back, ticket is on the home owner. Issued 65 tickets last winter. Although had to use some common sense because of huge storm. Capt. Gromada - residents when this happens, call 311 to report it. Dan Cohans (Manitoba): what was thinking and planning for traffic flow for Beacon / Collins. Concerned that Manitoba has become the cut through. Deena David: when going east on Waban avenue and if cars parked there, forced to cross the line. DK it is a no parking zone as of today. SM also going to fix striping around there as it was done incorrectly. looking at installing Yield signs as well. Stephanie Weitzman: can you describe bus dismissal? LL: still being evaluated, but will always be an adult with them. SW: also, where do I park when I drop off early/late. LL: there should be 4-5 visitor parking by library for that. Lauren Hunt: is there a program for early drop-off. LL: there is an early morning dropoff starting at 7:30. Kathy Winters: what about kids who can walk home on own. LL: you know children best. (2,3,4,5) if you give a permission slip, that’s OK. K or 1, then should probably have a talk. Marlo Tremaglio: is there a communication plan for parents? There are two grades of parents that haven’t dealt with this. LL: yes, we have a plan to do that. planning a detailed letter for parents. Stephanie Huang (Upper Falls): is there any opportunity to add a bus stop along a route. Have been requesting for many years. Stop at Pettee St. is a shared stop with Countryside so it’s a huge stop. Lots of parents drive there. In winter, bus can’t get through. DW: send it to me. CM (?) will there be bike racks? will kids be allowed to bike to school? DF: plan to do bike safety for 4th and 5th graders. Sarah (?) how will bike education be done and can that be done for younger kids. DF: safe routes does that and also do it for walking. ask for parent volunteers when on road doing safety training. go over everything about what you are supposed to wear, where you can ride, etc. kids love it. AB: 2-6nd grade to do bike safety program curriculum as part of bike safety training. Kathy Wong: what is best alternative for those of us who live on Quinobequin that doesn’t have sidewalks. Sean: can drive to safe place and let them walk from there. if you have to drive, don’t drive the whole way. ?? (upper falls): Will bus go to Countryside first and then to Angier? LL: don’t know, that would be up to Regina Moody, the school transportation coordinator Gretchen Friend: On Dorset road there is a path that goes directly to the Angier playground. AD: there is an effort to improve that and keep it open all year round ??: where are teachers going to park (once the lot is full)? AD: going to be addressed at parking meeting next week. DK: ward 5 aldermen docketed an item to create a village parking plan. created one in Auburndale last year and around Newton North the year before. Will focus on Beacon St between the bridge and Metacomet, andDorset from Beacon to Locke. Idea is need to eliminate parking by commuters. Will put in a two-hour timerestriction with an override permit to residents of street and some school staff. Similar to what was done around NNHS. Once plan is in place, can expand around that. ??: what are plans for the meantime? David: plan takes a long time to put in place, so priority was to enough parking for teachers and to not have people on Beacon St. ??: what are lessons learned from others. David: Auburndale went very well. lesson is that we’re going to be continuing to expand these plans. Waban was able to get ahead other villages because of the school opening. Wanted to get something in place that can easily expand quickly. JR: if there are safety issues (from parked cars blocking roads), we can work with police to do something temporary. David: process takes a long time. have urgent need to address a short term problem and then will focus on broader village parking issue. ?? why was there such poor planning about not having enough parking for teachers. Mike Cronin: the site is really small. put as much parking in as could be done. ?? why did you not build a garage? Mike Cronin: garages are really expensive and didn’t have land to put it on. We would love to have it all onsite. Some schools, like Bigelow, don’t have any parking at all. Sean: alternative view, it’s a waste to put parking on school site when that space could be used for educational purposes. parking begets traffic. would be better to have teachers park on the pavement we already have on community streets. SL: what’s the incentive given to faculty to not drive? LL: most teachers can’t afford to live here and are coming from far away. teachers are also often bring lots of bags/materials with them. many teachers have to drop off children before coming to work. SL: what about a loading zone? Or incentives for car pooling, such as closer parking spots? Next meeting will take place on December 10, 2015.

Adjourn. 9:00 pm. Respectfully submitted, Joe Corkery

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