Parents on the school run targeted in parking crackdown
MERIDAN State College parents arriving to pick up their children are being greeted by council inspectors cracking down on bad parking habits.
Parking problems appear to have reached critical levels at the school, with parents and school officials frustrated by a lack of options.
College director Julie Kornmann said Sunshine Coast Council advised her last month they would be targeting the school after receiving complaints.
"A bone of contention in the primary parent car park is the two minute 'drop and go' section which some parents are treating as a normal parking space and waiting much longer than the two minutes," Ms Kornmann said.
Sunshine Coast Council says parking inspectors have issued 14 infringements since July last year for parking on yellow line infringements in Meridan Way and one infringement for breaching the two minute rule in the council-owned Meridan Way car park.
The respective fine amounts are $88 and $58.
Parent Jessica Calder said it was a daily struggle to drop off and pick up her son Hunter for prep.
"If I want to park here (Meridan Way car park) I have to do a few rounds and wait until someone comes out or I've got to come late," Mrs Calder said.
"I used to park on the curb there but as soon as I saw inspectors, they just start fining everyone."
She said more parking needed to be made available.
"You shouldn't have to have inspectors at the school."
Fellow mum Chantelle Riding said she thought it was good that parking inspectors were monitoring behaviour.
Miss Riding said people were parking in the two-minute zone for up to an hour before school finished.
"I think the parking inspectors are doing a good job just because they are helping the kids across the road," Miss Riding said.
Should parking inspectors fine parents on the school run?
This poll ended on 23 March 2016.
Yes. If they are doing the wrong thing they should be fined and moved along.
No. The school run is hard enough as it is.
It's one way to deal with the problem but we should look at other long-term solutions.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
She was disappointed to hear people yelling at inspectors and abusing them.
Miss Riding said she left home in Bellvista at 2pm to get a park in time to pick her children up after the 2.45pm bell.
"But it you leave it five minutes later, you are not getting a park."
She said there needed to be more than enforcement to fix the problem.
"It is a small car park for the size of the school."
Ms Kornmann said while the school was very aware of the frustration parents experience with the parking situation, its primary concern was the safety of students.
"The council parking supervisors have been very responsive to the concerns of parents and have met with me to develop plans to alleviate the problems," Ms Kornmann said.
"Once they have gained the necessary approvals for these plans I will be sharing them with our parent community."
A Sunshine Coast Council spokeswoman said requests from 10 local schools for help around drop off and pick up times had been received.
The spokeswoman said Meridan State College was one of the schools which had requested assistance.
"Council has implemented a pro-active education program, through the provision of fact sheets and on-the-ground consultation, designed to engage with motorists and parents to educate them of the safety issues generated by unlawful parking and provide alternative legal parking options," the spokeswoman said.
"Car parks are available nearby the school where parents are being encouraged to park and walk to drop off and pick up their children."
She said council inspectors were also working at Brightwater State School.
"Council continues to work with schools regarding concerns surrounding traffic flow and parking and encourages walking, riding and public transport to improve children's health and reduce congestion."