When parents collect students at Sacred Heart, traffic comes to a stand still. It’s one of the worst traffic jams in East Sacramento and it’s caused by a school.
Sacred Heart Parish School was relocated to the west side of 39th Street between J and H Streets in 2010. The school is new and has 310 students. The campus was developed as part of Mercy Hospital’s expansion currently under construction in East Sacramento.
At three o’clock vehicles are often backed up all the way to J and sometimes to H Street, two major East Sacramento thoroughfares. The worst of the congestion only lasts for about 10 or 15 minutes during morning or afternoon student drop-off and pick-up.
There is a school monitor with a flag and vest assigned to manage the flow at the school entrance, but he often doesn’t appear until 3 pm. Cars begin to gather much earlier.
Theresa Sparks, Principal, Sacred Heart School stated that the school sends employees out to monitor the traffic. “… we do have all employees on deck at dismissal to get cars through our traffic loop in the most efficient manner we can. That means that after school there are about 20 employees keeping walkers, bike riders and cars safe and on the move.”
It’s clear the school does not have 20 employees directing traffic, and the people who do help, do not prevent parents from parking in red and hydrant zones, idling in cars or even leaving their cars parked illegally.
Parents regularly park or idle in the crosswalks or wait in the middle of the street to turn into the school property. They cannot wait on the campus because there is no room.
The photos accompanying this article were taken this week at 3 o’clock dismissal and clearly show the lack of traffic management.
Notice cars parked in red zones, the cars stopped in the middle of the street and the bike rider forced onto the sidewalk. You can also see the cars exiting the Mercy Hospital parking lot, which compounds the problem. Finally, note that there are not 20 Sacred Heart employees managing the problem.
The jam-up is a detriment to the neighborhood and it’s a clear safety problem. Fire Department and ambulance services cannot get through the street at this time.
Sacred Heart and Mercy Hospital need to work together to solve this problem. A traffic plan and management strategy must be created for the hospital area. There currently is none and this jam up is one of the area’s biggest traffic problems.