Special Traffic and Parking Plan in Place for RMHS on Election Day
Reading High School classes to start at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 6.
If you’ve been sleeping like Rip Van Winkle for the past couple of months, a reminder: a contentious presidential election is less than a month away.
All Reading voters cast their ballots at one place—the Reading Memorial High School Field House.
A special traffic and parking plan will be in effect at the high school on Tuesday, Nov. 6, Town Clerk Laura Gemme told the selectmen Tuesday. The plan will affect voters, election workers, RMHS students, faculty and staff and students who are dropped off at the high school, including pupils in the afternoon preschool RISE program.
Voter traffic will be routed in toward the field house from the Oakland Road entrance nearest Birch Meadow Drive. That stretch of road, which is usually two-way, will become one-way inbound.
Parking for handicapped voters will be available between the field house and the high school. No student drop off will be allowed there on Election Day.
Both high school students who are dropped off at the school and pupils in the afternoon pre-school RISE program at RMHS should be dropped off at the entrance to the high school Performing Arts Center that day.
Voter traffic will flow around the field house, then to the right of the high school, all the way up the hill to the top of Oakland Road.
Where to Park?
Voters can park in several places: behind the field house, in the north parking lot; along Birch Meadow Drive; at the former Imagination Station across from the Coolidge Middle School; and at the tennis courts on Bancroft Avenue.
The parking spaces outside the RISE office, both adjacent to the high school and across the road, are reserved for election workers. So are the single row of spaces along one side of the field house.
RMHS students, faculty and staff should park in the parking lot at the entrance to the Performing Arts Center—the south parking lot—until 3 p.m.
Faculty and staff may also park in the lot in front of the high school—the east parking lot—until 3 p.m.
They should enter those parking lots from either of two entrances from Oakland Road—not the entrance near the field house. They can exit the same way or up the hill onto Oakland Road.
Any drivers may park along Oakland Road, according to Police Chief James Cormier.
Delayed High School Opening
The high school schedule will change on Election Day. School will start at 9:30 a.m. instead of 7:30 a.m.
The RISE morning program will not be held on Election Day, school Superintendent John Doherty told Patch yesterday.
After school on Election Day, high school extracurricular activities that are usually held on the fields around the school will be moved, Doherty said, to other fields.
Gemme said the town implemented the traffic and parking plan for the September state primary. She expects much higher turnout on Nov. 6.
If you can’t get to the polls on Election Day, absentee ballots are available now at the town clerk’s office. They’re hot this election, according to Gemme. Her staff processed 100 of them in one day, she said.
For more information about voting, from registering to checking your precinct to voting by absentee ballot to seeing a sample ballot, go to www.readingma.gov; then to department—town clerk; to election information; to the 2012 Q&A and sample ballot (the 2012 presidential election). Or call the office at 781-942-9050.
Besides electing a president and national, state and local vocational school representatives, the ballot contains three binding referendum questions.
The last day to register to vote in the Nov. 6 election is this coming Wednesday, Oct. 17.