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      Congestion near St. Dominics and Madison Schools

      Crowded, congested, cantankerous. Those are three words parents have to describe an area near two Quincy schools.

      We're talking about the area along Maine Street between Madison and St. Peters Schools.

      This topic came up during one of our recent KHQA Parent Advisory Board meetings.

      It's a group we meet with to help us gather topics that matter most to you and your children.

      KHQA's Rajah Maples checked the problem out for myself and took those concerns to the city.

      As you can see, it's already a landlocked area. Throw in scores of cars of parents picking up and dropping off their kids, not to mention large school buses, and it's a recipe for disaster.

      Quincy City Planner Chuck Bevelheimer says the city is aware of the issue and has even tossed around possible solutions.

      Bevelheimer said, "We've talked about indenting a parking area along the Madison School front to see if there's a way to open up the road a little bit more to give the parents a little more wiggle room where they're parking and to provide a safer zone for pedestrians and parents unloading."

      Bevelheimer said the city also is considering submitting an application to the Safe Routes to School program. It's a national program created to combat childhood obesity by getting more kids to walk or bike to school. The program also has an environmental component by improving air quality and the environment by decreasing the number of cars taking kids to and from schools.

      Bevelheimer said, "This is a highly dense, urban area. You got a park, you have 2 middle schools right next to each other. It's right in the middle of a residential neighborhood that has a lot of homes."

      None of the parents waiting in these cars would go on camera to talk about the congestion here. But they all told me the key is to arrive early, well before school gets out, to get a good parking spot. That way they can pick up their kids from school and be on their merry, less crowded way.

      Bevelheimer told me the city is working to get funding from the Safe Routes to School program for improvements near St. Dominic's and Baldwin schools.