'It gets progressively worse every year': Angus resident fed up with parents blocking driveway

·2 min read

One parent refuses to allow her driveway to be used as a loading zone for students at the nearby school.

Sandra Dixon-Osborne has lived on Roth Street for the past 20 years. During the last year, her driveway — two doors east of Our Lady of Grace Catholic School — has been used by parents to pick up and drop off their children who attend the school.

“They come and block my entire driveway,” said Dixon-Osborne, whose son attends a nearby school.

“It gets progressively worse every year. And some of the words people use at me when I ask them to move, it’s not fair,” she said.

Dixon-Osborne said she’s been nearly hit by a car in her own driveway, has been told to wait five minutes by an angry parent, told to sell her house and move, and her 78-year-old neighbour has been sworn at.

Standing on a blustery afternoon near the drop zone, Dixon-Osborne watched as two of the 11 buses and seven vans arrived to pick up the students.

Families who live within the 1.6-kilometre walking catchment area often drive their children in inclement weather, said school principal Saundra Reynolds.

“We have seen an increase in parents driving because of COVID-19,” Reynolds said. “We’re recommending parents drop off their children at the back of the school — it’s town property — near the baseball field at the Kiss and Drop, but only some parents are doing that.”

Parents clogging up roadways is a concern at all local schools, said Pauline Stevenson, spokesperson at the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board.

Promoting healthy and active lifestyles and encouraging parents to walk their children to school isn’t as popular in the winter months, she said, adding she’s hoping it will increase as the weather warms up.

“It’s been compounded by COVID-19 because parents don’t feel comfortable having their kids on the school bus,” Stevenson said.

Around the corner on Park Road, a small line of cars is parked with parents ready to pick up their children who run across the baseball field after school each afternoon.

“I do what I’m told. They told us at the beginning of the year to pick up the kids here,” said one father who asked his name not be used. “At least the kids aren’t walking past all those buses.”

Cheryl Browne, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Barrie Advance