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Spencer changes parking near North Rowan High School

 

SPENCER — Parking during the school day is forbidden along Whitehead Avenue and Oakwood Drive after Monday night’s Board of Aldermen meeting.

The change came after an appeal from North Rowan High School. Principal Meredith Williams said many students use the unusual width of Whitehead and Oakwood as an opportunity to park without registering vehicles with the school and getting a parking pass.

While it also meant that students didn’t have to pay parking fees, the trend posed dangers to students and those driving by. In a letter to the board, Williams described how students often go into the road to get into the cars and how parking along the borders of campus forced drivers to pull out of parallel parking spaces into traffic. The latter was particularly concerning, Williams said, because the high school has so many new drivers.

But current parking trends also make it more difficult for the school to track student absences.

“It’s hard for us to tell who’s there, it’s hard for us to monitor the comings and the goings,” Williams told the board Monday.

Students parking along Oakwood Drive also frequently block access to a fire hydrant, she said.

To help solve the issue, Williams came to the town board for help, asking that it forbid parking on Whitehead and Oakwood during school hours of 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. The proposal had already been approved by the N.C. Department of Transportation, Land Management Director Troy Powell said.

The board was all for the move.

“I think it’s an excellent idea,” Mayor Pro Tem Sylvia Chillcott said.

Alderman Kevin Jones made a motion to approve the ordinance, and David Smith seconded it. It was unanimously approved.

Signs will be posted along Whitehead and Oakwood avenues to alert residents of the change.

In other business, the board:

  • Discussed a bike helmet giveaway to be held Aug. 22, to be coordinated with Engage North Rowan and local elementary schools.
  • Announced that the town library will be closed from Aug. 24 to Sept. 5.
  • Discussed a timeline for the Fourth Street stormwater project. Construction should begin in December, town staff reported, and be complete by the end of February.
  • The town’s fall mulch giveaway will be held from 7 a.m. to noon Sept. 16. Residents may request as many as three loads of mulch per address.
    Contact reporter Rebecca Rider at 704-797-4222.

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