School traffic nightmare in Broken Arrow impacting neighborhood

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. - Residents say a new elementary school is helping to create a traffic nightmare in their neighborhood.

Jared Myers lives in the neighborhood across from Aspen Creek elementary, which is located on 111th street between 129th & 145th (Olive and Aspen).

He says when parents pick up or drop off their kids during the day, they clog the road in front of the school, which is the only street that leads into his neighborhood.

After the school opened last week, Myers said he was stuck in traffic for half an hour.

"It took about half an hour to get from 145th up to 140th, just a few blocks," Myers said.

While Myers says he supports the new school, and even looks forward to his kids attending it one day, he's frustrated by the traffic problems.

"Frustrating to be a few blocks from home and not get to my street," said Myers.

Julian Pope lives in the same neighborhood as Myers.

Pope said last week it took him 35 minutes to drive one mile to his house after getting caught in school traffic.

"[School officials] were asking me what color my tag was and I said 'I just want to go home! I don't have a tag,'" Pope recalled.

The long line of traffic on the narrow two-lane roadway in front of the school also frustrates many parents waiting in line to pick up their children.

"I was stuck in this line out here for about 45 minutes," said Alisha Pittman, whose son attends the school. "I was unable to make it to work on time."

On Monday afternoon, Pittman got creative and parked across the street from the school and then walked across to get her son.

"I made it and he's good too," she said.

The school's principal, Larry Smith, said he's well-aware of the problem and has taken steps to fix.

Smith said he's directing more parents to pull into the school's parking lot when picking up their kids.

"When you load more people into the parking lot and get them off 111th, that'll solve the problem," Smith said. "We do have enough parking. We just have to weave them around the parking lot."

Smith's idea appeared to improve traffic significantly on Monday.

The line of traffic, which stretched nearly half a mile at one point, disappeared in about 20 minutes.

"Be patient," he said. "People who know me know that if I see a problem, I'll address it and get it taken care of because I don't want them to be out in the street either."

Smith said another reason traffic has been an issue is because at the beginning of the year more parents like to transport their children to school. He expects that to level off and encourages more parents to send their children to school on the bus.

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