Bus time at the Elementary School

FTLComm - Tisdale - Wednesday, March 3, 2004
There is absolutely nothing new about this problem and I suspect that the school planners, town administration and neighbour home owners have all been seeking a compromise of one kind or another since the school was originally located on this site more than three decades ago. There are lots of problems like this one where access, traffic and location all seem to be at odds with one another.

The problem is this, how do you move a fleet of buses, between thirty to fifty private vehicles to and from a school twice a day when the primary street to the school works into a crescent? There have been several possible solutions during the nine years we have lived in Tisdale two blocks from the school with one of the most successful strategies was no strategy at all. I noticed that for some time the buses each selected their own route to the school and away from it and this adhoc solution produced some relief because the traffic was somewhat dispersed. Among the exit routes some parent chose to head up the alley across the street from the main entrance to the school but the town and home owners saw this as a problem and a sign was put up restricting traffic down the alley.

The bus drivers often have chose to roll around Caribou Crescent but this has been a problem because of the rather poor quality of the street.

Another plan was to install a larger parking lot at the school which allowed the buses to turn around and make their way back out the same route the came. A good plan but the congestion remains. Apparently Tisdale children can not , or their parents will not let them walk so moms and dads, usually at least twenty vehicles but many times double that roll into the area to pick up their children. Bus drivers are left to their own means to find a way around the cars, trucks and children crossing the street to parked vehicles. Today there was even a pickup with a horse trailer in the parent line up.

Meanwhile a large bus decided to approach the school area up Caribou today (below) but large snow piles on each side of the street and parked cars made it impossible for the driver and this bus had to back into an alley to turn around to head back toward the school on 95th.

Though Caribou is considered a bus route snow is not cleared from it until other areas of town have been dealt with. A home owner was complaining about this issue as he had his snow blower out on the street trying to clear his corner so that cars and buses would not get stuck.

It looks to me that this is one of those things that will not fix itself and a coordinated discussion between the school officials, bus drivers and the town will not see a solution because there are still all the private vehicles to contend with.

Were it my decision, I would establish a bus loading zone along the school side curb East of the 95th street intersection. Buses would load and unload along the street and buses would then depart South on 95th. Private vehicles would be urged to park north bound on 95th pick up on the South side across the street from the bus loading zone and depart East. The intersection student patrol is outstanding and this would move everybody around without bouncing buses and private vehicles around the Caribou roller coaster.

The moving of the buses through the parking lot and along side the playground is merely asking for trouble. The buses are large and the visibility restricted during turning. This present procedure is not something I would recommend.

Timothy W. Shire


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Editor : Timothy W. Shire
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