Students at McIntosh High School will no longer be able to park on streets behind the school for safety reasons, but they will enjoy expanded on-campus parking for golf carts this year.
The Peachtree City Council voted Thursday to ban parking on both sides of Prime Point, Petrol Point and Stevens Entry near the school.
This summer the school added 181 new golf cart parking spaces to help with the vehicle crunch. The city also plans to use a grace period so students can adjust to the street parking ban before citations are issued.
An engineering review conducted by the city showed that the parked cars and golf carts were causing safety problems for motorists patronizing businesses and driving through the area. The vehicles were obstructing the views and traffic flow, the review determined.
The parking ban is supported by school administration, the board of education and also businesses in the area who were surveyed by Peachtree City police officers. The school has changed some of its parking permit policies to accommodate the elimination of on-street parking as well, noted Peachtree City Police Chief H.C. “Skip” Clark.
City Manager Jim Pennington credited the issue being resolved through cooperation between the school and the city.
It will cost about $2,500 for the additional “no parking” sign plus another $600 to paint a few on-street parking spots along Prime Point, according to city staff.
Although traffic safety in the area was the main problem, several business owners also complained of littering, loitering and trespassing by students who park on the street and walk to school, city officials have said.
In 2002, the city council lowered the golf cart driving age to 15, which resulted in a large number of students being able to drive to school on their own. The number of golf cart drivers swelled to the point that the school built its own golf cart parking lot.
To qualify for the privilege, 15-year-old golf cart drivers must have their own driver’s license permit from the state. City ordinance also limits 15-year-old cart drivers to carrying only one other passenger who must be at least 15 years old, although they can also drive up to three immediate family members.
Two years ago, the city banned parking on an area of the golf cart path located near the school, as students had taken to leaving their carts along the path each day. That practice drew complaints from residents in the area about the path being blocked and litter being left in the area.
For more information about the city’s cart paths and rules, visit http://www.peachtree-city.org/index.aspx?NID=216.
There was also some discussion Thursday about creating a small section of on-street parking along Prime Point in front of the Ashley Glen assisted living facility, but the company needs to take several steps before that can be considered, according to city staff.