To the Editor:
I am writing this letter in opposition to the proposed new Cherriots bus route that will travel the Gubser Elementary School neighborhood.
While I understand the need for the service, this proposed service is a rather large disservice and inconvenience for residents. We need to find a compromise that everyone can be happy with.
The proposed route is flawed with many problems, and communication between Cherriots and the residents of the proposed route has been horrendous at best. Nobody was aware of the route until a neighbor had a stake in the ground marking a future bus stop, and a flyer on the door announcing the decision. Cherriots say they reached out, and maybe they did, but if those affected are not getting the message then how can it be said they are communicating? With one text message, we had 12 neighbors gathered and assembled for a last-minute meeting with Cherriots representatives.
While the route to travel down Stone Hedge is a horrible decision, the idea of placing a bus stop on Stone Hedge itself is worse. The proposed stop will be right in front of residents’ homes. They and their guests will no longer be able to park in front of their homes. If they do, per Cherriots staff, they risk being ticketed or towed for blocking a bus stop.
There will be stops on the corner of McLeod and Stone Hedge as well as 14th and Stone Hedge. A stop in the middle is unnecessary and needs to be removed altogether. Stone Hedge homes do not have big driveways. If there are more drivers and cars in a household, a vehicle gets parked in the street. Our street is not wide enough to have a city bus flying down the road like they did a few years back. As it is already, cars need to take turns traveling down our street.
Our street has many young children that walk, play, and ride their bikes. Having a city bus every 30 minutes with vehicles parked in the street is asking for trouble and accidents. Pets and children are something they can’t account for and with tight roads and blocked views, accidents will be waiting to happen.
The overall planned bus route it’s taking is not well thought out in the slightest. They are proposing a route to travel from McLeod on Stone Hedge to 14th Ave. This will have the bus fighting the drop off and pick up time traffic from parents picking up students at Gubser Elementary School. Anyone who lives in this neighborhood knows to avoid that area due to the massive volume of cars and traffic. Cherriots says they cannot go further into the neighborhood as it will add two minutes to the route. They will be sitting for five or more minutes just to get turn south on 14th. School busses don’t even go that route. Years ago, when they did deal with the traffic, the busses flew down Stone Hedge to make up the lost time to keep the schedule.
A better proposed route, if there has to be one, would take the bus all the way (two blocks or so) north to Rock Ledge and head west. This would allow more residents of the neighborhood to be serviced and have access to the bus. It would be traveling on wider streets as well as not be affected as much by the traffic during the drop off and pick up times at Gubser Elementary School.