Public Pushes For Change To RHAM Parking Lot

Public meeting held in response to death of popular middle school teacher

Four months have passed since Rham Middle School teacher Dawn Mallory was run over and killed in the school’s parking lot. Now members of the RHAM and Hebron communities are calling for a closer look at the traffic issues.

Police say on March 14 a parent accidentally drove into the bus lane, abruptly backed up and ran her over. The town is possibly facing a suit from Daw Mallory-Bushor's estate for the death.

With the exception of some new speed bumps and some signage, four months later, the parking lot still looks the same. 

“If this was your child, if this was your husband, your wife or mother, you would want something done and you would want it done a lot sooner than four months after the accident," says Rham Middle School teacher George Deliman.

According to Deliman, Rham teachers know of more than 100 close calls between cars and pedestrians during pick-up and drop-off hours. Now, the town of Hebron has brought on a consulting firm to look at the problem parking lot.

“This type of meeting does give us good guidance on what the public is thinking and it usually does ducktail with the types of solutions we come up with,” says James Ford, a senior associate with Beta Group.

On Thursday, Ford moderated a public hearing calling on the crowd for comments and ideas. He says the firm is already aware of basics that can be approved upon, such as separating school traffic and buses from passenger cars, but understands there are more concerns.

“I think a lot of the confusion is for people who have high school and middle school children. I am one of them and wanting the best for all your students and you have a middle schooler walking through the parking lot at drop off,” said Sarah Kuerbitz.

According to Deliman confusion is only beginning. He also points out traffic, congestion and pedestrian issues.

“Something needs to be done and it needs to be done by the starts of school.” Says Deliman.

Possible solutions discussed Thursday include making parking a privilege not a promise, staggering dismissal or not allowing students who drive to leave until the buses are gone.

The firm plans to conduct additional interviews over the next two weeks and present their proposals by August first. For Deliman they can’t come soon enough.

“Dawn was a friend of mine, a coworker. I was the first one on the scene to perform first aid. I don’t ever want to go through that again.”

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