CANTON Drivers soon will be prohibited from parking or stopping on State Street and a new traffic pattern will be established at Banford Elementary School.
Cars also will be banned from stopping or parking in the grassy shoulder in front of the school complex, 99 State St., even during afternoon pickup times.
There will be no stopping, period, said Thomas A. Maroun Jr., project engineer with the state Department of Transportation.
The ban is expected to start before the new school year begins Sept. 6.
The increase in traffic on State Street created by the Main Street reconstruction detour has prompted officials to develop ways to keep motorists and students safe and traffic moving.
The parking ban on State Street should help prevent collisions, Mr. Maroun said.
Weve observed tractor-trailers and other vehicles swerving to avoid cars parked on the side of State Street, he said. If another vehicle is coming the other direction, they could collide head-on.
He said DOT will install about 50 signs alerting motorists theyre not allowed to stop or park on the street.
Once we put the signs up, it will be up to police to enforce the signs, Mr. Maroun said.
Interim Village Police Chief Victor N. Rycroft said a village police officer will be assigned to the school site to monitor the situation, at least during the first few days of school. Mr. Rycroft is also a member of the Canton Board of Education.
Well have an officer in the area to make sure things are going smoothly, he said.
The detour established this summer by DOT diverts traffic off Main Street to Route 310, State Street and Riverside Drive.
Traffic in front of the school is typically heavy during morning drop-off and afternoon pickup times, and the detour is expected to exacerbate the situation. Traffic on State Street stalls temporarily when school buses depart in the afternoon. Officials are concerned about adding tractor-trailers to the scenario.
Several officials met Friday morning to discuss ideas, including Mr. Rycroft, Mr. Maroun, School Superintendent William A. Gregory, school Operations Director Scott J. Sanderson and Tawn K. Evans, the districts transportation supervisor. A follow-up meeting is expected to be scheduled before school begins.
To keep traffic flowing at Banford, the parking lot entrance will be widened by 6 to 8 feet and parking spaces adjacent to the building no longer will be available, Mr. Rycroft said. Mr. Sanderson said parents will not be allowed to park in the drop-off zone. It would be helpful if more children rode the bus, he said.
Drivers wont be allowed to make a left-hand turn from the Banford parking lot. That rule has existed for several years.
Cones and signs with arrows will be installed to clearly identify the entrance and exit to Banfords parking lot.
Were going to try to use as many visual cues as possible, Mr. Sanderson said.