Construction-related traffic, frayed nerves, safety concerns prompt changes to parking, student pick-up times

Traffic snarls and short tempers result from school construction (photo by Sam Richards)

PIEDMONT —- In the face of ongoing construction at and around Piedmont Middle School, the City Council has approved adjusted student pickup and drop-off times on Magnolia Avenue to help relieve street congestion and make things a little safer.

Also, council members hope the adjustments will help ease fraying nerves of PMS parents, others doing temporary parking for city recreation programs across the street and drivers who themselves are rolling through the neighborhood.

“It can be a little [bit of] road-rage in that corridor.”

Councilwoman Betsy Smegal Andersen

“…Good [material] for an episode of ‘People Behaving Badly.’” 

Police Chief Jeremy Bowers

The council voted 4-0 to approve the time changes. (Councilwoman Jen Cavanaugh was absent).

As of earlier this week, that area — Magnolia Avenue approximately between Hillside and Bonita avenues —  had weekday student drop off and pick up only from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. and in the afternoons from 2:45 to 3:30 p.m. (except Wednesdays, when pickup has been from 1:30 to 2:15 p.m.) Otherwise, the area has been restricted to 30-minute parking on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Under the newly approved times, the 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. drop-off window remains, but pickup times will be 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, with no unattended vehicles allowed to be parked.

And what had been 30-minute parking from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. will now be 10-minute parking from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and 3:30 to 6 p.m.

New signs advertising the new times should be up before PMS classes begin Tuesday, Aug. 13. 

All of this is in response to the school district construction that has had profound impacts on the loading and parking zone area in front of Piedmont Middle School, especially during student drop-off and pick-up times. Complicating matters are short-duration parking by parents accompanying pre-school-age children in and out of programs at the Recreation Department across the street from the middle school.

Mayor Robert McBain noted, “It was a challenge before construction started there.”

“At the end of the day, it’s about the safety of the folks going through that area.”

Piedmont Police Chief Jeremy Bowers

The school construction began in April. Given that the work is expected to take about two years, these new parking restrictions are expected to be in effect until about April 2021.

All photos of the PHS construction site (8/7/2019) by Sam Richards

Reach Sam Richards at

One thought on “Construction-related traffic, frayed nerves, safety concerns prompt changes to parking, student pick-up times

  1. And please don’t stop in the middle of the road. A very frustrated, late teacher could be behind you, trying to get to their students.

Leave a Reply

The Exedra comments section is an essential part of the site. The goal of our comments policy is to help ensure it is a vibrant yet civil space. To participate, we ask that Exedra commenters please provide a first and last name. Please note that comments expressing congratulations or condolences may be published without full names. (View our full Comments Policy.)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *