Mammoth Schools push for traffic control; feasibility study underway


For parents hoping for a quick fix for traffic control at Mammoth elementary, they might not want to hold their breath.

If the school district pushes the boundaries of good luck, a solution to the vexing morning and afternoon traffic jams at the school might be completed by the start of the 2014-15 school year.

However, schools superintendent Lois Klein said recently, such a solution would involve a combination of favorable weather, swift planning by architects and quick action from the Department of California Architects.

“We don’t even have a timeline yet,” Klein said during a February liaison meeting between Town of Mammoth Lakes officials and members of the schools hierarchy.

“Hopefully, we'll relieve some of the frustration at the parking lot,” Klein said, “but we're still in the feasibility stages.

“Once we get through that hurdle, then it will be going to architects, then to the state for approval.”

Mammoth Council Member Jo Bacon, who attended the meeting with Town Manager Dan Holler, said her experience with the state’s architects suggests patience on the part of everyone involved.

“Having worked with them on the courthouse,” she said, “they're going to do what they're going to do.”

The traffic jam at the elementary school has raised the ire of parents in the morning and afternoons, as they line up along Meridian Boulevard. The issue surfaced at a school board meeting in January.

To solve the problem would require a redesign of the parking lot, which was never designed to handle the volume of drop-offs and pickups.

“In nice weather, maybe the kids could walk to school?” Bacon said.

That would be on the far end of imagination, however.

Ever hopeful, Holler suggested, tongue in cheek, that the schools invent an incentive for the kids to take to their feet.

“We could craft it as a prep for Dodger games,” he said, “or Angels games—walking in traffic, that kind of thing.”