Traffic Problems Create Safety Concerns at New Elementary School

While the new Wazoson Public School in Barrhaven’s Half Moon Bay neighbourhood welcomed students into its new building in early January, not all of the kinks have been ironed out just yet.

The opening of the school in the new calendar year brought with it some major traffic problems with the pick-up and drop-off of students. There is no functional drop-off and pick-up system in place as of yet. As a result, cars are doing u-turns on Kilbirnie Drive, cars are parking in front of no parking signs, and some cars are double parking on the street.

The school, located on Kilbirnie near River Mist in Half Moon Bay, was delayed in opening until January. Classes were temporarily held at the former D. Aubrey Middle School on Cedarview Drive near Bells Corners.

Wazoson opened its doors to students and staff Jan. 8.

“It’s absolute mayhem,” commented one mother, who spoke to the Barrhaven Independent on the condition that her name would be withheld for fear of being smeared or chastised in community and school Facebook groups.

“We were really excited for our kids to finally have the school open after a long wait,” she said. “Unfortunately, it’s a mess. People are selfish and impatient. They just turn where they want, block the road when they want, and have no regard for safety or for other people. The school said they are working on it, and I know that we have one of the best trustees on the school board on Donna Blackburn who is very good at getting things done. I know this will get resolved, but it needs to be sorted out quickly before someone gets hurt.”

The woman said that for two days, she drove her children to the school but got stuck in the traffic mess and spent upwards of a half hour trying to get out of the tangled web of cars, vans and SUVs.

“Now we park a couple blocks away and walk the rest of the way,” she said. “It’s easier and faster, even though it shouldn’t be. But doing that has its problems too as there is no crossing guard.”

In an interview with CTV, Barrhaven Councillor David Hill is looking at safety measures, and said the city is requesting a crossing guard.

“It could be a stop sign, it could be a traffic guard. I don’t know exactly what they’re going to be installing but I have been told they are looking seriously at that intersection as well,” Hill told CTV.

On Fri., Jan. 19, Wazoson administration sent an email to parents to remind them about road and traffic safety in the school area. They said that beginning Mon., Jan. 22, there would be bylaw officers at the school.

The Barrhaven Independent was at the school on the mornings of Jan. 23 and Jn. 24, and did not see any bylaw officers present. Though the situation was still problematic, it was not as bad as it had been the previous week.