A local mother reached out to News 2 about her concerns with the placement of her child’s bus stop that was recently changed to the busy Central Avenue in Knightsville.
All of three of Dana Malden’s children used to be picked by the school bus on Senrab Boulevard. She requested that the stop be moved to that street back in 2014 off of Central Avenue.
“I raised the concern… this is at the curve and asked if the bus stop could be changed or if they could come in and kind of do a loop or if there was just another place outside of the curve for them to be picked up and it was changed,” said Malden.
But in January, a school bus got into an accident on Senrab Boulevard. Then Malden got a letter that said that the stop for her children in 2nd and 5th grade would be changed back to Central Avenue. Now she says she is still concerned that it is not a safe bus stop.
“My biggest concern is that it’s a curve, there’s cars that are speeding through there,” said Malden.
Dorchester District 2 Transportation Director Steve Shope told both Dana and News 2 that the change was made because the bus stop was not in compliance with a state law that says that if a student’s home is not more than 3/10ths of a mile from a primary road, the stop must remain on a primary road.
Shope also said that there are risks associated with driving on Senrab Boulevard.
“We find bus stops that are out of compliance or in situations that are taking extra risks that are not necessary so that is how that came about,” said Shope. “Yes there is less exposure in a neighborhood but we also have to follow… we also have to look at the other circumstances like turning a bus around back there on a private road which requires a waiver of liability.”
Shope said that the stop was previously changed to Senrab Boulevard at Malden’s request before DD2 managed transportation when Durham School Services was handling busing for the district. He said that DD2 was not aware of the stop being out of compliance until the accident and added that there are about 10,000 stops in the district, and not all have been reviewed.
However, Dana was still confused when Shope told her about the state law because her youngest child in preschool is still being picked up on Senrab Boulevard. DD2 was also not aware of this until News 2 approached the school district.
“Unfortunately, I was not aware that we had our pre-K bus that is in the middle of the day going into that same bus stop,” said Shope. “We will investigate that and make the appropriate determination on what that bus stop should be.”
Shope said that the new stop on Central Avenue is safe.
“It’s a safe bus stop because of the way we’re doing it on the right side. We’re not making them walk across the road. We would never do that,” he said.