AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) – Parents at the Dockside Village subdivision in East Amherst seem to be feeling better about their children riding the school bus, after a dispute was settled with Williamsville Central Schools transportation officials.
Many of those families became concerned because school officials seemed to think picking up and dropping off small children along Route 78, Transit Road–one of the busiest thoroughfares in Western New York–might be safer than dropping children off on their street, within the subdivision.
Williamsville transportation officials determined the full size school buses making three-point turns in the parking lots at Dockside Village was an unsafe practice, but their solution seemed to be worse.
At the time, there was only one street into the complex, and out, so the bus had to turn around—making a three-point turn—to get exit the development. So Williamsville Central Schools notified Dockside Village developers the bus would stop dropping students off within the subdivision.
Starting October 30, the buses would make one stop on Transit Road to pick up all the students in the complex, in the morning, and then drop them all off in the afternoon, also on Transit Road.
Sara Glena, whose 9 year old son has autism, learned of the busing plan and contacted Call 4 Action, “I can understand, it is a very large vehicle, but in the same regard, when it is 55 along the road and you have young children and students, regardless of age or grade, it is going to be dangerous on a long road like that–as fast as it is along here.”
According to the plan, students as young as kindergarten age would have to walk from home—as far away as a half mile—to catch the bus on Transit Road, another bitter pill for Glena and the other parents to swallow, “When you have semi trucks that go by, construction vehicles that go by, it gets to be very dangerous unfortunately even just driving on the road, you never know what is going to happen.”
But Dockside Village officials moved up their timetable for the Town of Amherst to take control of a road that exits the opposite end of the subdivision onto Millersport Highway. Amherst dedicated the road, Shoreline Parkway, so the buses could leave the subdivision that way, without necessitating a turnaround.
Glena said she is happy and relieved, and pleased with the proactive role Dockside Village developers took with Williamsville school officials to protect the children of Dockside Village.