Westlake traffic troubles near school force city to get involved

Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 10:50 PM EDT
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WESTLAKE, Ohio (WOIO) - Neighbors are frustrated with the daily traffic jams on their streets near Dover Intermediate School. Cars line the streets twice a day during drop off and pick up, according to neighbors.

They said it’s not safe for drivers, parents, students, or residents.

Neighbors living along Bassett Road, where the traffic jams occur, held a special meeting with Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough and the city’s law director.

“It’s just ridiculous; it’s not safe; we have little kids on the street,” one neighbor explained.

Mayor Clough said he spoke with the school superintendent and was told there’s more traffic because more parents are driving their children to school.

“They said that when they came back full time instead of virtual, half time, they tell me there’s 250 more parents that are driving their children to school that usually take the bus,” said Mayor Clough.

Residents told 19 News that traffic previously flowed down Dover Center Road instead of down a back road and exiting on Bassett Road, but the traffic pattern changed recently.

They claimed it’s not safe, especially after an 11-year-old girl was hit while riding her bike at Bassett and Northglen two weeks ago.

Neighbors like Libby Tamas voiced their safety concerns during the Westlake School Board’s regular meeting that same night.

“Why did it even have to come to that? W told them that would happen. Rear-end accidents happen all the time,” said Libby Tamas, who requested the special meeting with city leaders.

During the meeting, neighbors explained how they were told the back entrance to the school from Bassett Road would be for emergency vehicles only.

“With those levies that we passed, stage one and stage two, they were supposed to do a turn about in the parking lot in the back which was supposed to take care of all that, all those cars,” one neighbor explained.

Mayor Clough admited the city can’t force the school board to do anything about their traffic plan, as schools are controlled by the state.

However, he said the school board has been willing to fix the issues.

“There have been some very positive comments coming from the schools saying they want to solve this issue; they want to have a solution,” Mayor Clough added.

He says the school board is considering restricting access from Bassett Road, but it’s not clear how.

“This is not an easy road, but it’s our road. We’ve been residents here for 39 years, we’ve seen the changes, and we just want to make sure everyone is safe,” said Tamas.

Mayor Clough told 19 News he will meet with the school superintendent again to discuss the possible changes. He also says the city is offering an engineer and any other resources to help.

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