Catching the school bus on Transit Road: this is safe?

AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) – Until recently the school buses for Williamsville Central schools were turning around in the Dockside Village subdivision because the main thoroughfare was a dead end street, but now that Dockside Village is expanding, Dockside Parkway is no longer a dead end.

Without the safety of a dead end street to turn around, school buses have been performing three-point turns in a private parking lot, and school officials have determined, “A three-point turn is not a safe situation for a school bus.”

So district officials have decided the buses will not be picking up students or dropping them off within the Dockside Village subdivision. Instead a single school bus stop will be on busy Transit Road, just outside the East Amherst apartment complex.

In a letter to Dockside, district officials said students, “will be expected to walk to the intersection” of Transit Road and Dockside Parkway.

“It is very scary, even for a parent, an adult,” said parent Sara Glena, “I would not even want to stand out there to catch a cab, catch Uber.”

Glena reacted to a notice she and other parents received from Dockside Village’s management after the East Amherst subdivision was notified by Williamsville school officials they would not be picking up students within the development, after October 31.

The Williamsville Central parent is especially concerned because her 9 year old son has autism, and for the time being he is picked up at their front door.

“They are saying it would be a pickup on Transit Road, at what they are calling the ‘right of way’, which would be right at the Transit Road entrance. Not pulling in, they would pick up on Transit Road.”

Williamsville officials notified Dockside Village officials, Thursday afternoon, they would be willing to “discuss the placement of an appropriate turnaround location”, preferably within the subdivision, which could avert a dangerous bus stop on Transit Road.

Corey Auerbach, an attorney from the Barclay Damon law firm, which represents Dockside Village LLC, said Dockside is willing to go one better, and extend the main thoroughfare from the apartment complex all the way to Millersport Highway so the buses would not have to turn around at all.

“At this point, the intent is to dedicate the remainder of the now-private road so that the buses can continue along through the last phase of Dockside onto Millersport Highway.”

As of Thursday, Williamsville Central School officials have not actually contacted Dockside parents at all about the school bus stops, the correspondence has been between the school district and Dockside Village.

Dockside officials have been keeping the parents informed, and officials for both sides said they are optimistic they can reach a safe and satisfactory resolution.

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