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It’s Quincy’s morning rush hour and students and their parents are heading to the elementary school building on Lawrence Street for the day to begin at Plumas Charter School. With four crosswalks at Lawrence Street and Bradley Street and another down the highway as Lawrence joins Crescent Street, also known as Highway 70, plus two lanes of traffic heading west, there’s a lot to take in. Plumas County Planning Director/Commission Randy Wilson met with school officials, and representative from Caltrans, county road department and the CHP to help determine a safer way to get everyone to where they want to go. Photos by Victoria Metcalf

Safety first: Officials express concerns for charter school students’ safety

Public Works Assistant Director John Mannle indicates target traffic and pedestrian areas on a GPS map of downtown Quincy. The safety of students crossing in front of the Lawrence Street Plumas Charter School and on Bucks Lake Road is of concern.

Keeping students, parents and other pedestrians safe especially in two locations on Lawrence Street and Bucks Lake Road in Quincy were the shared goals as officials weighed their options in a special meeting Friday, Oct. 5.

At the urging of Plumas County Planning Director Randy Wilson, Supervisor Lori Simpson called a meeting with representatives from Caltrans, Plumas County Public Works, the California Highway Patrol and two officials representing the Plumas Charter School.

Of particular concern are crosswalks on Lawrence Street nearest the elementary school branch of the charter school, and the crosswalk on Bucks Lake Road directly across from the planning department to Dame Shirley Plaza.

“What can we do to make this better?” Wilson asked of the group.

Wilson went on to say that he approved the charter school housing its elementary grades on Lawrence Street. School opened there late this summer and will continue until a new school is built on Quincy Junction Road near Quincy High School.

Upper grades are located in the old Plumas Bank Building on Main Street right next door to the CHP office. Pedestrian safety concerns do not seem to apply at that location.

Presently, during the morning and afternoon as students arrive and leave the Lawrence Street location there is a concern for pedestrian safety. Students and their parents as well as teachers have been seen using unsafe crossing habits in the area. Another concern is the speed at which motorists drive, especially approaching Highway 70. Officials agreed that drivers often tend to speed up as they’re nearing Highway 70.

Drivers also tend to speed up when approaching Bucks Lake Road at the corner of Highway 70, Wilson pointed out. His staff has long had issues with speed and motorists not stopping at the cross walk from planning to Dame Shirley Plaza. Charter school students also use this crossing when they use the park for lunch and other activities.

With everyone given an opportunity to weigh in about their concerns, it was determined that Plumas Charter School officials would immediately write a letter to Caltrans officials in Redding. That letter will help set in motion guidelines for school sign placement near the Lawrence Street school, yellow-lined crosswalks in that area, and possibly moving the pedestrian crossing on Bucks Lake Road to a safer location.

Plumas Charter School representatives, including site director Patrick Joseph, agreed that all staff would be better trained in helping students cross Lawrence Street.

Local officials agreed that this should move quickly.

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