Parents at Chelsea Cove North Development in Beekman said their children’s first day back to school was chaotic due to the Arlington Central School District’s decision to consolidate their six bus stops into one.
“It was very chaotic this morning. You had at least three dozen cars lined up to drop off their children, at the same time you have other people trying to get through to get to work or wherever,” said parent Matthew Feimer. from a student environment.
Feimer said Tuesday’s rain only exacerbated already existing concerns.
He and other parents learned a few weeks ago that the district was moving to a collective bus stop for middle and high school students at the entrance to the development, which contains 300 homes and dozens of students.
The stop is now on Miller Road, which Stefanie Weyant says is notorious for speeding.
“Speed is an issue. We don’t have sidewalks, we have cars parked everywhere. It’s a townhouse community, we don’t have driveways,” she said.
Weyant said her 10-year-old daughter was nearly hit by a driver exiting the housing estate on Tuesday morning.
“A lot of parents started jumping out of their cars to try to get the car to stop or slow down,” she said. “It was a mess.”
Arlington Central School District told News 12 that group bus stops were needed this year for high school students due to a shortage of bus drivers and to prevent buses from running late.
In response to parental concerns, school officials are currently reviewing the bus stop at Chelsea Cove North Development.
The district released the following statement: “The primary role of the Arlington Transportation Department is to transport students to and from school safely and to arrive and leave school on time. We will continue to do our best to work with the community to achieve these goals. . In order to avoid significant delays, the district has created communal bus stops for high school students at several apartment complexes in the district. Buses continue to make multiple stops to pick up elementary students. Last year, buses were routinely late for their elementary bus trips due to congestion caused by obstacles such as double parked cars, moving trucks and garbage trucks that make buses difficult to maneuver in tight spaces. The shortage of bus drivers has further exacerbated this problem. Transportation staff have attended the site of the bus stop at the Chelsea Cove North Development and the Director of Transportation and Assistant Superintendent of Business are currently reviewing the concerns. They have not yet decided if any changes will be made to this stop. When establishing a pickup point, the district must balance considerations of student safety and convenience, routing efficiency, and cost. The district follows the New York State Education Department (NYSED), Pupil Transportation Safety Guidance Manual, which states in relevant part: Dead-end streets, loop streets, and cul-de-sacs should be avoided by buses in the possible. Forcing a bus driver to back up or maneuver the bus into a tight space greatly increases the risk of an accident and puts children in the area at greater risk. Bus routes for typical students should not go into dead-end cul-de-sacs unless there is no alternative. We ask for your patience as transportation staff continue to adjust bus routes as new students continue to register for the 22/23 school year. We are asking for the help of parents to ensure their children reach the bus pick-up location safely.”