School board needs to review Raven bus route

I was shocked to read in your Oct. 28 issue, that the school board turned down the parents’ appeal to not cancel the school bus route

I was shocked to read in your Oct. 28 issue, that the school board turned down the parents’ appeal to not cancel the school bus route for high school students in Raven and along Lakeshore Road.

Aside from the fact that it will be a 9 kilometre round trip for the students to walk in the winter (and yes, uphill both ways), my main concern is for the safety of those kids.

I challenge the school district board to walk in their shoes, either early morning or late afternoon during low light, to walk the 4.4 kilometres from Raven to the Sullivan campus. I guarantee you will be nervous every time you hear a vehicle approaching as there are no sidewalks or shoulders to walk along. The stretch from Raven to Appleyard is a hilly, curvy narrow stretch of road that I had forbidden my own teenagers to walk along in the past.

I dread to think about their ability to walk this stretch daily during the winter months, without an accident occurring.   To suggest they walk down to the nature trail, to the downtown, then back up, puts them well within the 4.8 km guideline for the bus service.

Funding for dangerous routes like this one should be given top priority. I realize the board is under pressure to make ever- increasing cuts to their budget annually, but this is not the place for it. Not all parents have the ability to drive their kids to and from school for a myriad of reasons. It’s not fair to punish the “have-nots.”

One temporary solution might be for the high school kids to ride with the elementary and middle school students, if there’s room, at least to school in the morning. I realize the start and finish times are different, but I’m sure they would appreciate the earlier ride, at least, to school. Just a thought.

I am a resident of Raven but no longer have teenagers attending the high school.  The only thing I stand to gain from this letter is in hoping a review, under these special circumstances, could be granted before the spring of 2016. For safety’s sake.

Deb McDonald


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