In the strongest worded message to the Eliot School community yet, Michael Rubino - Senior Director of Operations - requested that parents who drive their children to the Eliot School avoid using Unity Street altogether during the hours of morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up.
We are requesting that families not drive or live park on Unity Street between the hours of 7:45AM-8:45AM and 2:45PM-3:30PM. The safety and wellbeing of our community is at the center of this request.
Mr. Rubino continued:
As a school in the middle of downtown Boston with no public parking lots, we understand that morning drop off and afternoon pick up for families driving to school can be challenging. Unfortunately, we do not have designated spots for drop off in the neighborhood nor do we have the staff to manage a separate Eliot-only car area. Every morning and afternoon, over 550 students and staff members use Unity Street during arrival and dismissal as pedestrians.
A dozen or so parents and caretakers often use the street for live parking - leaving their cars idling while they drop their charges off at the Prado. Cars and SUVs are often seen blocking doors to residences on Unity Street and forcing their way through seas of children that use Unity Street to pass between the lower and upper schools and as a throughway to the Prado from other points in the Neighborhood, Downtown, and Charlestown. As Rubino notes, over 800 reports of this behavior have been submitted to the City's 311 system (Unity Street has no legal parking spaces).
One analysis found that that as many of the 70% 311 complaints are regarding just four drivers:
A similar January 30th message from Principal Traci Walker Griffith had little effect.
Do NOT Park on Unity Street: As you can see from the image below, Unity Street has a very narrow street path and no open sidewalks. Parking or pulling over on Unity Street is incredibly dangerous for students, in addition to not respecting our neighbors who live on Unity Street. Students, staff and neighbors need the space below to walk and transition. Please use open spots on Hanover to pull over and drop off your child.