Archive for Monday, August 22, 1994

REJECTED ROUTE RAISES IRE

August 22, 1994

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A group of west side parents has drawn attention to their concerns over the cancellation of a school bus route.

Holly Beneventi says she's hoping for the day when she once again can put her two school-age children on the bus to Quail Run School.

Beneventi was among several dozen parents in the Pinnacle West neighborhood who marched along a canceled bus route northeast of the school on Sunday. New construction along the route makes the walk to school a hazard, Beneventi said.

``We're concerned about safety -- nails in boards, rebar sticking up,'' she said.

The Lawrence school board canceled the route in May on grounds that Harvard Road had been extended through the developing neighborhood, adding sidewalks and putting homes there within walking distance of the elementary school. The area in question lies between West Eighth Street and Harvard Road and between Prescott Drive and Eldridge Street.

Ron Durflinger, a local builder who plans to put homes on 12 of the 17 lots on Harvard Road between Wheat State and Grove streets, says he shares the parents' concerns, particularly since the construction sites will generate heavy truck traffic when children are walking to school in the morning.

``It will be hazardous for children ... particularly during peak hours construction deliveries are made,'' he said.

Board member Jerry Hannah, one of three board members who joined the march at the parents' invitation, said he thinks the board goofed and says the board will revisit the issue at its meeting Sept. 12.

``Quite frankly, I think we overlooked the safety concerns this neighborhood has brought up,'' he said. ``I think we made a mistake.''

Tom Bracciano, the school district's transportation director, said the school board nixed the route on recommendation from the district's transportation board.

He explained that guidelines for bus routes, which consider such things as distance from school, availability of sidewalks and potential traffic dangers, must be consistent throughout the district. When Harvard Road was extended, he said, the transportation board recommended that the route be canceled.

``It's very difficult to take those services away. People depend on them," Bracciano said.

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