Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Madeira Beach Fundamental parents use Walgreens parking lot as additional car line

MADEIRA BEACH — By the time the 1:55 elementary school dismissal bell rings, the car line at Madeira Beach Fundamental is overflowing from the school's parking lot. At 2:05, 10 minutes before the dismissal bell for middle school, the marquee board outside the school flashes a peak wait time of 10 minutes. By that time, the parking lot of the Walgreens across the Tom Stuart Causeway, which 10 minutes earlier was fairly empty, has filled as well.

When the 2:15 dismissal bell rings, a deluge of middle schoolers pours off the elevated crosswalk that starts at the school and dumps into the Walgreens parking lot.

The issue has sparked the ire of Walgreens and others in the community.

"Our parking lots are first and foremost for the safety, convenience and accessibility of our customers," Walgreens' corporate spokesperson Phil Caruso said.

A newsletter sent to Madeira Beach Fundamental parents in October 2015 said law enforcement officials have been called after groups of students linger for hours after dismissal time.

Parents have received messages from principal Chris Ateek in the monthly newsletters, PTSA meetings and weekly calls. Sometimes he even crosses onto the Walgreens lot to tell parents himself to use the car line across the street.

"I'd much rather be in my car line right now," he said one day when he was in the lot across the street from his school. "My car line is safe, effective and offers air-conditioned comfort."

Ateek said the issue is more complicated than just impatient parents.

"I don't want to paint with a fat brush," he said. "Some of our students live in the community and shop at Walgreens after school. My concerns is that the school wants to be a good steward of the community. In order to be good neighbors, we ask our families to use the car line, which is effective and efficient."

Ateek said there are safety issues involved as well. The overpass, which stretches across Tom Stuart Causeway, empties into a parking lot that borders a road carrying 27,500 cars a day.

Scott Spindel, who has a seventh-grader at the school, said he parks across the street at the Madeira Beach Shopping Center, but meets his son where the overpass from the school dumps into the Walgreens lot. He leaves straight from work to pick up his son and said by the time he arrives, the car line is difficult to join.

"I understand the safety concerns, but the car line takes much, much longer," he said. "This is much more convenient."

Ateek said educating parents will help.

"We live in a go-go-go society," he said. "A car line is like a microcosm of society. There are people who follow the rules and people who don't, but education helps."

Contact Divya Kumar at [email protected] Follow @divyadivyadivya.

Madeira Beach Fundamental parents use Walgreens parking lot as additional car line 02/01/17 [Last modified: Thursday, February 2, 2017 11:27am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs-Bills journal: Breakout game for Bucs tight end O.J. Howard

    Bucs

    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — It's obscured by the final score and a disappointing loss, but Bucs rookie tight end O.J. Howard had a breakout game Sunday, exceeding his season totals for catches and touchdowns in one afternoon.

    Bucs tight end O.J. Howard (80) celebrates a touchdown catch with quarterback Jameis Winston (3) during the second half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  2. Vladislav Namestnikov is Lightning's top-line 'secret'

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Nikita Kucherov is piling up the goals. Steven Stamkos is an assist machine. They make for an impressive pairing in a league that favors scoring pairs over the more traditional three-player scoring lines.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Vladislav Namestnikov (90) reacts after scoring during the third period of the game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla. on Friday, Oct. 6, 2017.
  3. Bucs-Bills report card: Grading the Bucs' 30-27 loss at Buffalo

    Bucs

    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Hard to believe, but this was only the second time in their history that the Bucs played a regular-season game in Buffalo. After Sunday loss, they wouldn't mind going another 40 years without playing here again.

    Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter, seen during the first half, had a heck of a day calling plays, Tom Jones writes. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  4. Passing motorists pull three from burning home in Tampa

    News

    TAMPA — Two men in a passing car rescued two children and a woman from a burning home late Sunday morning.

  5. Bucs-Bills: Social media reactions to the Bucs' 30-27 loss

    Bucs

    Here's a sampling of reactions from the media and fans to the Bucs' 30-27 loss Sunday at Buffalo:

    Buffalo Bills kicker Stephen Hauschka (4) is mobbed by teammates after kicking the game-winning field goal late in the fourth quarter. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]