Parents picking up students Friday afternoon from Alexander II Elementary School had mixed feelings about the opening of the new roundabout earlier in the day.
Ronald Broughton parked in a space in front of the school about 2:45 p.m. to pick up his granddaughter.
“I’m cool with everything,” Broughton said of the traffic situation. “I think (the roundabout) is going to be all right. I mean, people just need to learn to drive in it. I’ve drove in them, so I know how it goes.”
Long term, Broughton said he doesn’t know how drive-up traffic at the school will be impacted by the roundabout, but he thinks those who park elsewhere and walk to the school to pick up their child will be fine with the new traffic circle.
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Some people were less satisfied.
Denita Evans parked in a lot off Oglethorpe Street across from the park. As a walk-up parent, she said the roundabout wasn’t worth the wait.
“I don’t like it.” Evans said. “Just for me to cross the road, it took me about five minutes. ... It was just crazy, since there’s no one directing traffic (at the roundabout).”
School crossing guard Angellisa Spears said Friday afternoon’s traffic wasn’t nearly as congested as she thought it would be.
“When they said they were going to build a roundabout, I was like, ‘How can I work four corners with constant driving at one time?’ That’s impossible to do,” Spears said. “When I was (at the intersection of College and Oglethorpe streets), they felt safer.”
Spears said parents who parked in spaces along College Street helped relieve the carpool line, but she noted that Mercer students have not yet moved into the new apartments beside the school.
Friday’s traffic line cleared up by 3:45 p.m., but it was a sunny day with a lot of walk-ups.
“It looks like it’s working right now, but, you know -- sometimes funerals come through,” Spears said. “There’s going to be that day. We need to wait for a rainy day, because that’s when everybody will be driving.”
To contact writer Laura Corley, call 744-4382.