City approves request to close Washington Avenue during school dismissal times

Published 9:06 am Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Motorists wanting to use Washington Avenue to head west in the afternoon will soon have to use a different route for about 45 minutes during the week.

Oxford’s Board of Aldermen approved a request from the Oxford School District to close the westbound lane of the road to allow children to leave Oxford Intermediate School safely upon dismissal. The approval occurred during a recessed meeting on Monday.

The closure will extend from Molly Barr Road to North 6th Street from 3:40 to 4:15 p.m. OIS lets out at 3:45 p.m. and had first requested to close the road until 4:30 p.m., but Alderman Janice Antonow made a revision, changing it to 4:15 p.m.

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Staff at the school district provided the City with a count that roughly 250 students leave OIS by foot each day, with the majority of them crossing Washington Ave. to eastbound traffic. The line of cars already parked or driving eastbound to pick up students is causing an obstruction to westbound vehicles, and they are not able to safely see children crossing the street.

A closure will restrict access to Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and three homes that are located on Washington Avenue between the Boys and Girls Club and North 6th Street during that time.

Mayor Robyn Tannehill also added the provision that someone reports back to the Board after a month to see if the closure has helped, or if any other changes might need to be made.