Hingham: Neighbors and parents at odds over South Elementary School parking

Emotions ran high at the Hingham selectmen’s meeting Tuesday night, as the town’s traffic committee recommended a permanent parking ban on side streets near the South Elementary School.

Neighbors living on Independence Lane complained that parents park there and clog up the road when they pick up their kids from South Elementary School. The fire department says there was even an occasion when they couldn’t get their emergency vehicle down Independence Lane because of the traffic.

The Hingham traffic committee is recommending that the board of selectmen vote to put up signage that prohibits parking at all times about 300 feet into Independence Lane and Liberty Pole Road.

An Independence Lane resident who supports the parking restriction says she’s concerned about the safety of the both the residents and school children.

“I hear people say it’s only one street and only five or six houses. Well, if that’s one of your houses and you live there, how would you feel about it? Why should we be at a disadvantage for our loved ones to have an emergency vehicle come through? On many occasions I almost witnessed school kids getting hit by cars running across the street. I don’t want that to happen either,” the resident said.

A parent who is against the idea, presented her point of view to Selectman John Riley who seemed to favor the proposal.

Riley said, “I don’t think it’s fair to people living on Independence Road that people are parking all over the road.”

The parent replied, “While I agree with that, then at the same time, let’s push this off and not make this a school issue, let’s make it a neighborhood issue. The house next door to me has three kids in hockey and they have a hockey party after every game. Do I complain? There are cars up and down the street. There hasn’t been an emergency, thank god. If there was, would we be able to get by?”

The traffic committee, school committee and neighbors will meet together to try and resolve the matter before the selectmen take a final vote on the issue.

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About John Penny

John Penny is a town news reporter at WATD. He primarily covers stories in the towns of Marshfield, Cohasset, Scituate, Norwell, Hingham, Abington and Quincy.