The Board of Education meeting Monday night was an important night for the district, especially for the students, as the community can take a collective sigh of relief that student transportation for the 2011-2012 school year.
Although Superintendent Leapley's recommendation was stressed to be , it may give the community enough time to adjust to the dramatic change if this difficult decision presents itself again next year without any sort of immediate solution. What happens if surprise funding isn't available weeks before school starts?
While adjusting could be difficult, a lot of good points were raised during the meeting; especially on maintaining the safety of students commuting by foot. From crossing guards to arranging drop-off loops, there were several ideas that could better prepare students and parents if transportation services are not available for the 2012-2013 school year.
One of these ideas was mentioned during the public comments section of the agenda. One woman named Jamie recommended that the school could look into implementing what is called a walking school bus. Due to the many isolated communities, it could be beneficial for everyone to have set paths to help cut down on traffic and help avoid any possible incidents.
Having lived on Allen Road and Van Horn, I've experienced some of the concerns for the safety of students expressed by many that have attended the Board of Education meetings. Even as an adult, Van Horn can be pretty intimidating. It's an odd trek owing to the uneven dirt sides of the road and high speed of traveling cars.
There is a convenience store down the road I frequent, typically by foot because of the distance. Since there is no sidewalk, I try to walk on the narrow, uneven lane of dirt. This is probably fine for one or two people, but might be a bit much for a large group of kids. Even after Van Horn, the trains on Allen Road and Fort Street are daunting.
These trains are amazingly long in both time and length. Having dealt with them for years, the waiting periods if caught are still impressive. Thirty to forty minutes is not uncommon. The only option I'm aware of avoiding the trains is a long tunnel that goes from Van Horn to West Road. After speaking with both students and several parents, they would never let their child take the tunnel.
I'm largely unfamiliar with this enormous tunnel. Could any Trenton Patch visitor describe the tunnel and why a parent would object to their child using it?