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Stalling parents could be cited

Is there a new law that allows parents of elementary school kids to park in the traffic lane while waiting to drop off and pick up kids? This happens every day on Brookdale near Lone Pine School. Traffic is backed up from the school entrance to McAndrews, making it impossible to cross McAndrews going north. These parents certainly can park on neighborhood streets and walk to the school to get their kids. Would Medford's finest be able to explain why this is allowed?

— Sharon P., Medford

Sharon, Lone Pine Elementary School has the second-highest enrollment — 594 students as of Nov. 30 — of any elementary school in the district, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that drop-off and pick-up times might cause gridlock in that area.

However, no one at Since You Asked headquarters has heard of any new legislation allowing parents to stop traffic while they wait for their kids to get out of school.

Medford police Sgt. Don Lane explained that while parents are permitted to stop in the bike lane momentarily to actively load or unload passengers, they can’t park there (Oregon Revised Statutes 811.555) nor can they obstruct the right of way, per Municipal Code 6.360.

Last year, the police department received complaints about traffic in front of Hedrick Middle School and Hoover Elementary School and, in response, changed the signage outside the school to say, “No stopping, standing or parking.”

“We also worked with the school to make sure parents got the information,” Lane said. “The police department sent out a letter to parents through the school asking them to comply with the signage and reminding them that failure to do so could result in a citation.”

The letter, new signs, as well as some orange traffic cones outside Hedrick seems to have solved the problem at those two schools.

Lane said he hasn’t heard from school resource officers that traffic in front of Lone Pine is a problem.

“But now that we have this information, then it is obviously something we will look at,” he said.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. To see a collection of columns, go to mailtribune.com/youasked. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.