Share |

District bus drivers petition board for help

Article Date: 
4 October, 2013 (All day)

The elimination of some bus routes earlier this school year has translated to more traffic congestion, say some bus drivers.
“With the number of students walking and parents bringing children to school, there are more children on the sidewalks, bikes, and cars at the elementary,” said Pam Francis, a trainer with the Morgan Count School District Transportation Department.  “There’s a lot of issues we are seeing that are making us extremely nervous.  The issues are multiplied, more than what there has been.”
The fact that the high school, middle school and Morgan Elementary are all on the same street compounds the traffic issues, said Morgan Elementary Principal Tim Wolff. 
Francis asked the school board for more signage informing that buses have the right of way, police officers to direct traffic during high volume times, as well as some help getting school buses “out of the way” of other traffic.  
“We are big, and we are in parents’ way,” Francis said.  “But we are trying to get children to school as well.”
Francis said she gets concerned when young elementary kids like to reach out and touch the bus as it goes by.
“We love our jobs.  We get along.  We are a great group,” Francis said of the district bus drivers.  “But we have big concerns that are not being taken care of.”
Board member Jody Hipwell asked if parent pick-up could be delayed until after the school buses have left the school.  Wolff said that might be possible.  Wolff said the board should look into other solutions such as other roads or entrances to the schools, such as behind the elementary in the neighborhood.
Boardmember Ken Durrant mentioned that the school needs more bike racks because more students are riding their bikes to school lately.
“I wouldn’t want my grandchild run over,” Durrant said.  He told Francis the board would consider solutions, “otherwise, we are going to have a tragedy and we will all regret it.”
“It is a problem that is not going away,” Superintendent Doug Jacobs said.