Stoneybrook parents demanding kids' bus stop be changed back
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
CREATED Aug. 8, 2012
ESTERO, Fla. - A bummer at the bus stop for dozens of Lee County families on this first day of school.
Concerned parents say their kids' bus stop was moved outside their gated community this year on a road they say is just too dangerous. They want to know want to know if the district is willing to make a change in the intest of safety.
Four In Your Corner's Colleen Hogan is taking their concerns straight to the top, which is prompting action.
Parents who live in the Stoneybrook community right across from the Miromar Outlets in Estero think the new bus stop for their kids on a busy road isn't safe. They want the stop moved back behind the gates of their community like it was before.
"It's an unacceptable location for our kids to pick up the buss and get dropped off," concerned mom Jordan Joseph said.
The bus stop is located near the intersection of Corkscrew Rd. and Ben Hill Griffin in Estero. An area that fellow concerned mom Cara Chazin says has been rife with accidents during the time she's lived in the Stoneybrook community.
"Dump trucks, cars flying by going way past the speed limit, left-hand turns, mergers," Chazin said.
Those are just some of the reasons parents say, the new bus stop isn't safe.
"There's nowhere for the parents to park their car and safely wait for their child," Joseph said.
The parents are concerned because they say, they just found out about the change a few days before school started, not giving them enough time to contest the decision before the start of the school year.
Chazin snapped several pictures Wednesday morning showing dozens of kids, ranging from kindergarden to high school aged, waiting for their bus on the sidewalk.
Some of the kids have to wait for their buses starting as early as 5:00 a.m.
Chazin snapped another picture, showing where one bus stopped, right in the middle of a merging lane just up from a stoplight. She says the location where the bus has to stop is already causing problems.
"The one bus driver for Bonita apparently went past Stoneybrook, she was gonna stop here, and said 'There's no way I can stop after the light. I can't just stop the car after a light,' Chazin said.
"So the bus driver admitted there was no safe place to stop?" Hogan asked Chazin.
"She went around, circled back, came in through Stoneybrook, turned around before the gate and picked the kids up there," she said. "She said she will not pick the kids up there, she was going back to complain."
While we were out, Robert Morgan, the district's transportation director came by to talk to the women about their concerns.
"I think without Fox 4, this would be falling on deaf ears," Joseph said.
"I got quite a few calls from members of this community," Morgan said.
"Parents are very concerned about safety on this road. Is there anything that can be done?" Hogan asked Morgan.
"There's 58,000 students and there's roads and traffic all over, and everyone's kid is just as important," morgan said.
Morgan said he will have safety officials back out at the bus stop site Thursday morning to see if it needs to be changed. He says there's about 100 gated communities in the Lee district and this has been an issue with many parents.
He says the district is following school board policy that buses don't go into gated communities.
Colleen Hogan, reporter