I was raised an Episcopalian. Both at home and at church, I was taught the golden rule from Luke: “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” It is unfortunate that St. Martin's-in-the-Field Episcopal School has chosen not to consider the surrounding communities. For years, they have ignored county noise regulations, concerns about runoff and zoning permits. With new construction, the school limited access from an entrance on Benfield Road to construction vehicles. They instructed parents that the community requested cars proceed on Tewkesbury Lane and make U-turns at the intersection of Tewkesbury Lane and Lymington Road. That is not the case. Why would we ask for dozens of cars to make U-turns into our neighborhood? The neighborhood did not request this. We have children walking to public schools. They and their parents have repeatedly been placed in harm’s way when cars dangerously pass within inches.
At school drop-off and pick-up times, St. Martin's drivers have blocked Tewkesbury, so residents must wait for school traffic before leaving the community or returning home. The St. Martin's drivers have driven in the exit to the community, they have created their own access points by driving over a curb and private property, blocked residents from exiting driveways and they have driven onto lawns, causing damage. I could list many other instances where the drivers have decided to do what is best for them and not for others. This is not a good lesson to teach children. These drivers ignore school rules and common courtesy.
Although many drivers follow the instructions issued by the school, numerous drivers don't. What can be done? People who call the school are told, “That is the way it is.” There are solutions. The Benfield entrance should be reopened so cars can enter and exit from Benfield. Years ago, non-church members donated money to expand the Benfield access points so that would happen. In addition, drop-off and pick-up times could be lengthened to lessen traffic at specific times.
People have refrained from writing to the Severna Park Voice because they are concerned about adverse impact to them individually. Silence does not mean that the surrounding communities are pleased with the project.