Cape councilman wants no school bus stop left in the dark
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
CAPE CORAL, Fla. - School's out and 14-year-old Natalia Lobo is home for the summer. But soon she starts her freshman year at Cape Coral High.
"Where's your bus stop?" asked Fox 4 reporter Gabrielle Sarann.
"Down there, right down the street," Natalia pointed toward Gator Circle in Cape Coral.
In the mornings, Natalia waits more than 15 minutes in the dark.
"There's no light so i can't ever see anything," said Natalia. "When it's dark, it's creepy."
She'd feel safer, she says, if bus stops were well lit.
"That would help a lot," added Natalia.
"I started an initiative to to try to light the night," said Kevin McGrail, a Cape city councilman, as he showed Fox 4 his map of street lights in the city.
McGrail is fighting for street lights at every school bus stop in Cape Coral. On Thursday, he plans to ask the state to pay for the project by offering the city as a pilot.
"I'm very hopeful," said Grail.
Most of the city's 900 bus stops are well lit. But about another 450 aren't near street lights leaving kids waiting in the dark.
"I will share with you that there's not a family anywhere that drops their child off at a dark bus stop that feels comfortable," explained McGrail about calls and e-mails he gets from parents.
He says addressing that concern would cost about $200 a stop. Each one would have new, cost-efficient LED lights. And after routes were consolidated last year, lighting those stops would be easier.
"It's not going to take tremendous amounts of money to string the wires and get those poles in place," said McGrail.
Natalia Lobo says just get them up.
"I wouldn't be so scared in the morning," she said.
McGrail will meet with members of the transportation board and state officials on Thursday at the old Cape city hall building at 2 p.m. He says if the project is approved, new lights would likely roll out next year.