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School traffic updates, tips to increase student safety and reduce driver stress

Some of the most congested roadways in Lake Stevens—for 30 minutes twice-a-day September through June—are school parking lots and roadways around our schools. We have partnered with the City of Lake Stevens to implement solutions to increase safety and ease traffic congestion, and we need your help too!

Sunnycrest Elementary School (99th Ave NE)
The city will be widening the roadway approaching Sunnycrest to create a dedicated turn lane going into the parking lot for student drop-off and pick-up. They will also create a new bike/pedestrian lane adjacent to the school’s fence along the playfield. The bike/walk lane will be separated from the turn lane with flexible fixed-base delineators.

1 of 2. The school fence along 99th ave NE
2 of 2. Another angle of the school fence along 99th ave NE

This work is scheduled to take place during Winter Break, and will take approximately a week to complete. Waiting until Winter Break will lessen the impacts on the school and neighborhood traffic.

Hillcrest Elementary School (4th St SE) & Lake Stevens Middle School/Skyline Elementary School (91st Ave SE)
The city has already installed numerous flexible fixed-based delineators north of Lake Stevens Middle School on 91st Ave NE. They will eventually extend those south from the school towards 16th Pl SE. The delineators separate the traffic lane from the bike/walk lane. When this project is complete, parking will not be available in the bike lane. Information has been shared with families about alternatives that will not block the roadway while waiting for student pick-up.

Flexible fixed-based delineators along 91st ave NE

The city has already completed installation of flexible fixed-base delineators at 91st Ave NE and 8th St. SE. These delineators separate the designated walkway from traffic that occasionally drove over the walkway when making a southbound turn on 91st Ave NE from 8th St SE.

Delineators along 91st ave NE from 8th St SE
Possible site of a new crosswalk along 91st ave NE

The city is exploring an additional crosswalk on 91st Ave NE south of Lake Stevens Middle School to help pedestrians that need to cross the street closer to 20th St SE. There is no current timeline for this project.

10 tips to increase student safety and reduce driver stress

  1. Slow down and be polite: Plan ahead and allow yourself extra time to navigate the parking lot. Be your child’s best example and try to remain patient. Large cars in proximity to small children can be a recipe for disaster.
  2. Obey traffic laws and signs: Speed limits surrounding schools are 20 mph, but you should drive much slower in parking lots. Read posted signs and follow their directions. “Do Not Enter,” “No Left Turn,” “Buses Only” and “No Parent Pick-Up/Drop-Off” are not suggestions and must be followed.
  3. Pay attention to school announcements: Specific pick-up and drop-off guidelines are often included in family newsletters and on school websites. Familiarize yourself with the guidelines that are specific to your child’s school. If you have questions or suggestions for improvement, talk with your child’s principal or office professionals.
  4. Follow directions of staff members and crossing guards: When school staff members and students are directing traffic and crosswalks, be respectful and follow their lead.
  5. Take the bus: If bus service is available, consider having your child ride the school bus. This can significantly reduce parking lot congestion. Routes and bus stop information are available on the district website.
  6. Carpool: It’s a great way to be “green” and cut down on traffic.
  7. Walk to and from school: If you live in close proximity to your child’s school, and it’s safe to do so, walking can be a great option. Talk with other families about forming a walking team with a group of students.
  8. Be respectful of neighbors and surrounding businesses: Our school neighbors, businesses and churches are our friends and partners. Do not park or turn around in their driveways, block their mailboxes or park on sidewalks.
  9. Don’t park in fire lanes, bus loops or other restricted spaces: Fire lanes and handicap spaces are reserved and should not be used for pick-up and drop-off areas. Cars should not pull into or park in bus loops, as this blocks buses from entering and leaving.
  10. Use crosswalks: It’s important that pedestrians use marked crosswalks and walkways—no jaywalking. It can be extremely dangerous to walk between parked cars, or to cross in front of traffic in unmarked areas. This is important for both students and adults.