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Fort Myers school bus stop on SR-82 called "unsafe"

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Fort Myers school bus stop on SR-82 called "unsafe"

By Matt Grant. CREATED Nov 12, 2012

FORT MYERS - A Fort Myers father says the Lee County School District's bus stop changes are putting his kids in danger.

Since August, Fox 4 has heard from many parents upset about this year's bus assignments. But for Carlos Delgado, his kids' bus stop stop was changed a week ago - two months after the superintendent called for a review of several bus stops where kids had to wait on the side of busy roads.

"It's very dangerous," said Delgado. "I'm very, very worried. Because I don't want anything to happen to my kids."

Delgado has two kids in elementary school, aged five and six. Last week, their stop was moved from the entrance to their Forum Isle apartment complex to the side of State Road 82 and Forum Boulevard, a busy 50 mph three lane road.

"I think it's a very bad idea," said Delgado. "I see the cars fly by."

Delgado says cars often ignore the bus' stop arm and says the bus driver even expressed frustration with the stop.

"She told me to do try to do something about it," said Delgado.

Lee County School District Transportation Director Robert Morgan says the bus used to go inside the apartment complex several years ago until management told them to stop.

For the past two years the bus has been stopping at the apartment entrance, off a side street, to avoid construction along State Road 82. With construction done, Morgan says keeping the stop on 82 is "immeasurably safer."

"The alternative is we go back in...drive around over speed bumps," said Morgan, "with parked cars...and then try to bring a slow moving bus onto 82."

"I disagree," said Delgado. "Because the buses don't actually enter the community. They stay outside."

Delgado isn't the only one frustrated with this year's busing assignments.

Since August, parents from at least eight gated communities have complained the new routes put their kids in danger by putting them onto main roads.

After a public outcry, the superintendent moved the stops back. The district is now evaluating them for safety - something Delgado hopes happens here.

"If these were your kids," said Delgado, "you'd be worried about it just like I am."

Unlike other controversial bus stops, this one does have sidewalks and streetlamps which others didn't.

School board member Don Armstrong says he will look into Delgado's safety concerns.

Matt Grant
mgrant@fox4now.com