Archive for Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bus options?

July 15, 2009


To the editor:

How frustrating is the Lawrence school district’s decision to eliminate bus service for students who live less than 2.5 miles from their school?

While this decision, which touts a savings of over $400,000, may seem like a good idea to some, I strongly disagree.

My daughter attends Wakarusa Valley School, within the Lawrence district but located 5 miles from Lawrence on a busy county road. There are no sidewalks to or from this school, and the traffic driving past the school and along the route to our home travels at 55 miles per hour. To suggest that our children ride the T or organize a “walking school bus” is ludicrous. The T does not offer service in our area, and, even if it, did I would not be comfortable putting my child on public transportation, unsupervised.

Further, the walking school bus is a great idea, if there were sidewalks to walk on rather than hiking through 3-foot drainage ditches to reach our home. And frankly, if I was available to walk children to and from school, I wouldn’t have needed to pay for optional bus service in the first place!

We have always had to pay for this option and, while I don’t know if it would have remained affordable if these costs were increased, being given that option would have been better than nothing. Next time perhaps the district could consider ALL of its students before making such a drastic decision.

Ledom is from Lawrence


kef104 8 years, 11 months ago

On the bright side, the football teams will not have to take a bus anywhere to play a home game. Seriously, our local school board has no idea on how to manage or spend money. Even in the city, our son will have to cross major streets to reach school, 15th and George Williams for Elementary school and both 23rd and Wakarusa for Jr. High. Expecting a 5 year old to cross 15th is nuts. But hey, "Go Team!."

Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 11 months ago

I cannot believe anyone walking 2.5 miles, let alone a child. That is like from Iowa Street to Haskell Avenue. Yes, I looked it up. Seriously, a child carrying a fairly heavy backpack is going to be walking that five days a week? Say it ain't so!

mom_of_three 8 years, 11 months ago

2.49 miles is my kid walking from South junior high to our house in Prairie Park. My kids were in junior high, but they did it a few times, in pairs, and never alone. they did walk from South to the T stop at 23rd to get home and had to wait for the bus usually. Wendy's on the other hand, benefitted from it.
Grade schoolers are a different story.
BUT the bus fees, if raised to compensate, would probably too high for most people to manage. When my eldest was at South, the bus fees were more than they are now (and there wasn't much of a discount for multiple kids in families). My kids are in high school now, so this doesn't affect me as much as people I know. And no, my kid couldn't walk to South in the mornings, and the T would be tough.

No, the district probably didn't look very well into the future when they cut out this service, but where were the parents when the board dicussed this at a meeting?

Lowell Holmes 8 years, 11 months ago

The average person walks 4mph. That is on flat unobstructed terrain. Now imagine a small child walking along busy streets (some without sidewalks) and crossing at busy intersections. How early do you think they would have to get out of bed to make it to school on time? Tell me again how much our local school board cares about the kids in the district!

puddleglum 8 years, 11 months ago

oh c'mon, children can walk faster than that!

honestone 8 years, 11 months ago

COme on... Stop your crying about a couple of little kids and traffic. They should just grow up and learn how to deal with it. All this whining about buses. But we do have these really cool professional sport stadiums. Deal with it!

em1 8 years, 11 months ago

mom_of_three, I would like to know where the parents were too. We were never told about this in a mailing or something sent home with a child. The only way I found out about it was from the letter after the decision was made. I think I as much as anyone would have liked to have known about the upcoming decision. Me thinks that if they would have alerted the community properly to the upcoming board decision, they would have had half the city protesting in there. Maybe that's why they were silent about it until after the fact....

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