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Osakis City Council discusses school-related traffic

Several parents had complained about traffic conditions and illegal parking during the time when parents are picking their kids up after school.

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Lowell Anderson | Echo Press
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OSAKIS — The Osakis City Council voted to approach Douglas County about making one side of County Road 3 in front of the school a no parking zone.

The action was taken at the council's regular meeting on Monday, May 9.

Council member Al Larson said that as it is a county road, the issue would have to go to the county, which would have to make a recommendation to the state, which would then have to do a study and make its own recommendation.

"Our hands are tied as to what we can really do because it is a county road," Larson said.

Several parents had complained about traffic conditions and illegal parking during the time when parents are picking their kids up after school.

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The Osakis School Board also discussed the issue at its regular meeting on Monday, May 9.

Osakis Elementary Principal Shad Schmidt said the ability of students to cross the street is the most concerning aspect of the issue.

"What was happening was cars were actually parking in the yellow (zones) and cars were actually blocking the crosswalk, which obviously is not safe," Schmidt said.

Schmidt said the district used crossing guards years ago, but no longer does.

"I'm the one who wanted to eliminated crossing guards for the safety of our crossing guard kids," he said. "We have 10-, 11-, 12-year-old kids out there trying to cross other kids across the street. What's the problem with that? Well, we have parents who are out on the street fighting and swearing at each other. What is a 10-, 11-, 12-year-old kid going to do?"

Schmidt did discuss the possibility of adult crossing guards, such as paraprofessionals.

"I wish we had a magic wand for it so we could figure it out, because it is a concern," said Superintendent Randy Bergquist. "I would feel horrible if something happened to a student, a community member or a staff member because parents are fighting or driving recklessly."

Travis Gulbrandson covers several beats, including Osakis School Board and Osakis City Council, along with the Brandon-Evansville School Board. His focus will also be on crime and court news.
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