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Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Parents hit the road to protest redistricting.

By Nancy Badertscher
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Roswell parents staged a 50-car caravan to Milton High School early Wednesday in hopes of showing a proposed redistricting plan could create a slow, unsafe ride for dozens of area children.

Enlarge photo Hyosub Shin, hshin@ajc.com Last month, parents had the chance to look at the North Fulton School Restricting draft map at Alpharetta High School.

"From a safety standpoint and a commuter standpoint, it is just a disaster waiting to happen," parent Heather McKinley said after the group spent 30 minutes in bumper-to-bumper rush hour traffic, traveling two miles from their subdivision to Milton High. Currently it takes them five to 10 minutes to get from home to Roswell High School.

Roswell residents have been among the most vocal opponents of the Fulton County school board's plan to redraw attendance zones on the county's north side in preparation for the fall 2012 opening of a new $66.8 million high school on Bethany Bend near the Forsyth County line.

The current plan would shift the boundary lines for four high schools -- Roswell, Milton, Alpharetta and Johns Creek -- with Milton set to lose 1,320 students to the new school and Roswell slated to shift 481 students to Milton High.

A final redistricting map is scheduled to be presented to the school board next week.

Residents of the north Fulton neighborhoods of Edenwilde and Summerhill Farms who staged Wednesday's caravan said they will be at the meeting to ask board members to allow students who live in Roswell to attend Roswell High.

Summerhill Farms resident Rob Kremer said east-westbound roads in Milton cannot handle the additional traffic that would be created by transferring 481 students from Roswell. In addition, he said, Roswell students, some of whom would be new and relatively inexperienced drivers, would be traveling a route with multiple left-hand turns that are without traffic signals or left-hand turn lanes.

Edenwilde resident Kim Miller said the redistricting plan threatens the strong community ties that many Roswell residents have with their city and high school. She said she has a daughter in second grade who has already been cheering for the Roswell High Hornets.

"Traffic is always going to be an issue in north Fulton, we know that," said Susan Hale, Fulton schools spokeswoman. “But when you open a new school, you’re not necessarily creating new traffic. You are just changing the pattern.”Hale said school officials realize “there will be some impact. But we think it will be more minor than what parents believe.”
She said the school system also has the ability to adjust the “bell time” for the start of school and would consider that if major traffic jams are created.

The school board is not expected to adopt a final redistricting plan until June. The plan would be effective for the school year that starts August 2012.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Typical response from the central.

"Just changing the pattern" Well dud! That is the community concern!
Parents, local school personnel have to listen to this type of drivel all too often.

Retired administor

Anonymous said...

Yea changing the pattern and loading already over crowded roads. How can we have elected such morons?
They are spinning, flipping, and twisting the truth to justifyntheir means. This group needs a major face lift and overhaul, yesterday.

Anonymous said...

so instead of the north and north west students driving north and south on Freemanville and Birmingham highway, they will now take those roads as well as the only three options Redd, Birmingham Rd., and Providence Rd. to get to Bethany. Ever sit on those three roads at key drive times? Ever try and turn left or right onto Hopewell from Birmingham Road? The cars are flying up and down Hopewell no matter what time of the day it is. Dinsmore and Thompson to Birmingham is not an option either, that turn is an extremely dangerous S turn out onto Hopewell. So YES Board of Education shifting traffic onto other roads IS GREATLY going to screw up the traffic in Milton. You don't want to acknowledge this because then they would have to change the last map for Milton. They won't acknowledge it. If we cannot even get our council to say something why would the BOE take heed? they won't. Come on City Council, make a stand on the traffic plan, it's your obligation.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you reprint Hatcher Hurd's editorial in the Milton Herald?

His column presents a view shared by most residents of Milton and other areas of Fulton County. The residents of Atlanta National and Edenwilde may believe their own B.S. but it's pretty obvious to the rest of us that all this is not really about traffic.

Anonymous said...

The homeowners need to hire Ron Tesch as a consultant.

Anonymous said...

For Roswell it isn't about traffic, agreed, but for Milton it is about traffic. Although if Roswell has to have 500 students come through Crabapple it IS going to be about traffic for everyone.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't want Tesch as janitor.