School District Will Look Again at Bus Stop at Darrow Way

The School District stood firmly behind this year’s bus routes during their Sept. 9 meeting when challenged on the safety of a stop at Darrow Way and Otterson Road.

Poor visibility and the speed motor vehicles travel through the intersection were of greatest concern to David and Susan Fletcher, who live on Darrow Way and send their second-grader to Matthew Thornton Elementary School.

“It’s not a four-corner stop. It’s more like a rotary,” said Susan Fletcher, who waits with her child 30 feet from the bus stop out of concern motorists approaching don’t always have a clear view of the stop due to shrubs and a telephone pole on the site.

Fletcher also told the board that high school students race through that area and people drive in the wrong direction around the intersection.

But Business Administrator Peter Curro said he has observed the intersection and found traffic minimal. He also noted the approximately three minute walk from the Fletcher home to the bus stop is safe.

“I will admit cars will come into the rotary, and, for a split second, at about 5 miles-per-hour, roll around the top of the intersection,” he said, noting that Police Chief William Hart also looked at the intersection and considered it to be a valid location for a bus stop. “There are many other stops that I think could be questioned before this one.”

School Board Chair Leitha Reilly, who has visited the stop in question multiple times, agreed with Curro, saying, “As a parent, I totally understand your advocating for your child. But I have to concur with (Curro). We have to bus a lot of children and there are a lot of streets that have visibility and other issues that exceed this particular one. But I think we should revisit this.”

In addition to voicing concern with the safety of their bus stop, the Fletchers called into question the District’s method of determining which cul-de-sacs buses will travel down to pick up children.

Curro explained there are various reasons a bus may travel into a cul-de-sac to pick up children, but they are confidential.

Superintendent Nathan Greenberg said in situations where children have a physical handicap or other special needs, the District may make special arrangements to pick up that child closer to home and may even have specially arranged seating on the bus for that student.

“Our bus routes are determined solely by age and age group, and we take into consideration special needs when making adjustments,” Greenberg said. “We also may make special runs for kindergartners. We are very concerned about the safety of all the children who come into our schools.”

“Our routes are not perfect and we fix them whenever they’re not right,” Curro told the Fletchers. “From what I have seen, the routes we have are as fair and equitable as we can get them without spending a lot of money on software we don’t need.”

Curro and Reilly agreed to visit the Fletchers’ bus stop again to re-evaluate the safety of the intersection.

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