School Traffic At Midland Christian Causes Tension

Nick Lawton
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Monday was the day that Midland Christian School neighbors had been dreading.

With the school's expansion still blocking off part of Culver Street, the bulk of the traffic was re-directed to Northrup Drive and the neighbors feared the teeming traffic could turn dangerous right outside their doors.

As the after-school traffic began, neighbors were already concerned with what they saw.

"Just about how the traffic is held up where people can't get up and down the street, that is a big concern of mine," Northrup Drive resident, Donna Stanco, said. "Parking in partial driveways, when you can't get in and out of your driveway. Parking the wrong direction in the flow of traffic, which is against the law. Parking in the yellow zones. Parking around the corners where there's yellow zones. It causes a hazard."

Neighbors near the school are afraid the construction and some drivers speeding through the school zones will cause accidents.

Midland Christian Superintendent Eddie Lee told NewsWest 9, a traffic flow plan was put together to accommodate the construction.

It featured three routes to the school: Coming down Northrup from the North, Northrup from Golf Course Road and coming down Sinclair from the East.

Other residents on nearby Culver said the traffic wasn't bad for them, with some concerns still lingering since construction began.

"The traffic was curb-to-curb for a while, but then the parents came back and moved their cars, so that's fine," Culver Street resident, Joyce Hooper, said. "No one stops at the stop sign here on Sinclair and Culver. I looked out this morning to see if they had removed it, but that is nothing new. It's been going on for months."

Now the neighbors want restricted parking on the residential sides of Northrup and Culver.

Midland City Council members told NewsWest 9 there will be restricted parking there once Midland Christian is finished building their new two-story education building, which is slated to be completed in August of 2012.

But neighbors said they can't wait that long and are still circulating a petition to get those restrictions sooner.

"We have to get everyone in the neighborhood to sign, so I've been out walking trying to get everybody to sign it," Stanco said. "The neighborhood is ready for this. They're ready to get their neighborhood where they can park in front of their house, where they can have people come over, because right now, as it stands, you can't have anyone come visit you. There's no place for them to park."

Other neighbors predict these parking issues will still be problems in the future.

"I think that's the main problem is parking, and of course, the future also is taking more property and closing more streets," Hooper said. "That's going to be an issue for some years, I'm sure."

Stanco told NewsWest 9 Midland Police are going to place a portable radar speed sign in front of her house to try to cut down on the speeding by the school.

Another neighbor told NewsWest 9 off-camera that she got into a confrontation with Midland Christian traffic directors who had Northrup and Sinclair blocked off while she was trying to get back to her home.

As far as the parking problem goes, Midland Christian told NewsWest 9 their new 100-space parking lot should be finished in two weeks.