By Valley Vibe Staff Writers–
Residents hoping for a better solution to navigating the traffic near North Valley Christian Academy during drop off and pick up, have an opportunity to weigh in on a proposal for a second parking lot for the school on the northeast corner of 27th Drive and Westland Road.
North Valley Christian Academy is requesting zoning approval from the City of Phoenix to put in a parking lot with 136 spaces on the 4.5 acres of land it owns north of its campus split by Westland Road.
In October, the request was heard by the North Gateway Village Planning Committee, an advisory committee to the city, and at that meeting the board voted to table the issue to its Nov. 10 meeting, citing existing traffic concerns at that intersection and along North Valley Parkway during drop-off and pick-up times.
Several of the North Gateway board members questioned how the additional parking lot would do anything to improve the traffic flow near the school, and expressed concerns that could exacerbate the current situation.
Board member Shannon Simon stated she didn’t feel as though the presentation by the applicant was very transparent and said, “I don’t see how this is going to resolve the traffic issues at pick up and drop off… I live around the corner and I don’t leave my house during pick up and drop off because it’s insane,” she said, pointing out the inability for residents in the neighborhoods behind the school to be able to navigate safely along North Valley Parkway due to the number of cars and U-turns being made out of the school parking lot.
Board member Jennifer Krieger said, “I think the neighbors in that neighborhood don’t realize what’s about to happen to their exit and entrance to their only way home,” adding concerns of parents dropping the students off in the proposed parking area. “You’re going to have parents parking in the new parking lot and telling their kids to run across the intersection,” Krieger, who works as a crossing guard, noted.
No plans for a school crosswalk were presented at the meeting. Meantime, area residents have been requesting a traffic light at the intersection of 27th and Westland, but two previous traffic studies by the city indicated that the intersection did not meet the criteria for a light. As of this writing, the city has received two letters of opposition from the community regarding the parking lot rezoning request.
The discussion is set to continue with another presentation by the applicant with more information from the city’s streets and transportation department regarding traffic flow and traffic signal concerns, as well as building expansion plans for the high school addition and current enrollment numbers.
6 p.m., Nov. 10
6 p.m., Nov. 10
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