Mom: 'It's one of the worst bus stops I've ever seen'

MERIDIAN, Idaho - Budgets are tight and funding continues to be cut but some parents say transportation savings is putting kids in harm’s way.

During rush hour on Locust Grove just south of Fairview Avenue in Meridian, cars whiz by during the morning commute.

“I think it's one of the worst bus stops I've ever seen,” said Claire Tannini, a local mom.

Just feet away from hurried drivers you'll find children waiting for the bus. Some parents say it's an accident waiting to happen.

“People don't think about the kids that are standing there. They like to play around sometimes they mess around, they will push… kids will be kids,” Tannini said.

“The kids often get way too close to the end of the sidewalk and that's way too scary,” said Mandy Montano, another local mom.

The school district has been squeezed financially on every side. That includes busing reimbursement from the state. The district is dealing with a $2.5 million transportation cut over the last two years. The district says the only way to make it up is to drive less.

“You used to look at a bus route on the map and see all these jiggy lines through the subdivisions, so we pulled all of our stops to the main mile section arterial roads in order to reduce miles. Our goal was to reduce 300,000 miles which translates into $1.2 million and we did that,” said Eric Exline, spokesman for Joint School District No. 2 said.

While the kids at the stop will soon be in class reading, writing, and doing arithmetic, parents say trying to save money here doesn't add up.

“This corner is just so incredibly busy that one day something is going to happen and it's going to be worse for them. It's great that they're saving money but one day they're going to be in trouble for it and I think it's going to be worse off for them in the long run,” Tannini said.

“If we move that stop then should we take every other stop off of Locust Grove? I’m sure there are stops further north and further south. We have stops on Meridian, Fairview, and on Chinden. They're all on mile section roads now. That's how you reduce 300,000 miles,” Exline said.

There is a bus stop review procedure in place if parents are concerned about any safety issue. Call the transportation department at 855-4440 to voice those concerns.


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