Parents frustrated by traffic caused by construction at Orlando elementary school

School parking lot construction causes congestion in nearby neighborhood

ORLANDO, Fla. – Parents of children at Eccleston Elementary School in Orlando have been voicing their frustrations about traffic conditions at pick-up time that they say are chaotic and hazardous.

Well before school gets out, cars began lining up and down the narrow streets, turning the neighborhood into a parking lot. Priscilla Prioleau, who was there to pick up her 5-year-old grandchild, was frustrated the disorder, saying that other parents make up their own rules and park anywhere.

"This line is here for a reason, but they want to park over there, over there, and then they want to butt in," Prioleau said.

People like Beverly Carter, a daycare worker waiting in line to pick up kids, said that the conditions are also potentially dangerous for children who need to walk home.

"We've been in line for two hours, kids running across the street about to get hit. Nobody guiding them or anything – it's ridiculous," Carter said.

One police officer did show up to direct traffic, but many parents said this was the first day they'd seen him there.

The school's parking lot is still under construction, which parents said should have been completed before the school year began. The parking lot will serve as the car port and alleviate some of the traffic conditions, but that won't be until sometime in mid-October.

"If they had started or could have started earlier where it would be a way out and a way in, it wouldn't cause so much congestion," said Eva Nelson as she waited in line to pick up her grandchild. "Traffic jam always. This way, that way, people cutting in, children walking in front of cars."

A school board spokesperson said that the project could not have been done over the summer because of the demolition and asphalt processes. The school is also encouraging parents to allow their children to walk home – if they live close enough – to help ease the traffic situation until the parking lot is complete.