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Reader Feedback: School Bus Transportation Issues

Patch readers discuss the upcoming enforcement of existing bus transportation policies.

Several Patch readers have been discussing the Patchogue-Medford School District bus transportation issues that have led to several families no longer being able to have their student ride a bus to school when they have in previous years due to an updated routing computer that is enforcing existing policies more strictly than they have in the past.

While all students have until Oct. 5 to ride the school bus without a bus pass, those that live within the mileage limits of half a mile for grades K-5, one mile for grades 6-8, and a mile and a half for grades 9-12 will have to make new arrangements if their child is no longer eligible to ride.

Below are comments left by Patch readers on this week's coverage of the bus transportation issue.

Kathleen Rubinstein

My children have attended Medford Elementary School and South Ocean Middle School. I want to know why we are always short changed on safety in front of these two schools? Medford Elementary is probably located in the most dangerous area of all of the schools in this district. Years ago we tried to get signs to warn people that there was a school there and to have the speed limit reduced. We even had News 12 there. There have been many close calls over the years in front of the school. There is only one crossing guard there and she is incredible but there really should be more than one crossing guard at other areas near the school. Now for South Ocean - for years there was never even a crosswalk in front of the school till I believe last year. The crossing guard is all the way down on the corner not near the school. Once again a very dangerous area to cross in front of that school at dismissal and arrival. There is a need for more than one crossing guard there as well. I have seen 3 crossing guards between Barton and Saxton. These schools are located on streets with less traffic. I feel that the schools in the south part of this district are being treated with less care and concern for the students' safety. If the busses are being denied to the students the district needs to provide more supervision on the streets for these kids to cross safely.

Janice H

My children have always walked to school in this district. The only bus we have is for the highschool which my oldest is riding. I am fortunate that I am able to pick up and drop off my kids because THERE are no crossing guards available and each child one in Bay and one in South Ocean have to cross without crossing guards. The crossing guard at BAY is situated in the front of the school but the children ARE NOT allowed to enter that way. WALKING home my son must walk out the back of building and around the long way and cross at a very very very dangerous part of bay ave where cars come flying down at speeds of fifty plus sometimes. The school will not let them out of front of the bulding WHERE THE GUARD IS and cross to walk home. THAT simple exit would elimate my child crossing at a dangerous area and me having to pick him up if I want to ensure his safety. THE whole thing is insane. I walked home from Bay as a child, exited the front crossed at the guard and walked home three blocks without having to cross any streets without a guard. IT seems to me that there is something seriuosly wrong with these schools and safety issues.

Elizabeth K

Bay needs a crossing guard at the corner of Bailey and Edwards St. I have stopped in my car to allow children to cross and have been passed on the left of me. Scary.

Laura

After reading the comments above I have to wonder if the decision makers have any common sense. It's a sorry situation. I'd think there'd be a problem solving session that would actually resolve parents' concerns for their children. I went to Pat-Med from '66 to '79 and my 5 children attended from '92 to '2010. Some things never change. Unreal.

Kelly S

Funny if you are under the required mileage you wont get bus - but if your babysitter is over the required mileage you can get bussing for your kid - so pretty much everyone who has had thier bussing cut should just fill out the babysitting form and use a different address - unbelievable!!

Kelly S October 01, 2012 at 04:14 AM
Since I have not been contacted by the transportation department I decided to call them to see if the mileage was clocked for my son attending the HS. Now I have clocked my mileage from my house to the school and my odometer has never been less than 1.4 miles from different points of my house. From my driveway to the front enterance of the school I am 1.48 miles. I was told by transportation I am 1.3 miles from the school - so my new question is where are they measuring from and how does this get fixed - your gonna cut bussing for my kid for such a ridiculous amount of feet! This needs to get fixed - there are no sidewalks - these kids are expected to walk in a 2 lane street - when it snows then what??? Should they walk the street with the cars - I dont understand why this is so hard to understand!! I wonder if the people writting these "policies" would like to walk to school under these circumstances. I think the school board should be forced to walk along with these kids come the first big snowstorm and then see if is a big enough safety issue then!!
Vicki McGuirk October 02, 2012 at 03:26 AM
our bus is so overfilled that there are kids sitting on the floor!!! I guess they are waiting for someone to get hurt. The first day of school there were 5 kids on the floor. The bus aid had a seat...can you believe that?? Now I think it is 3 kids. I guess our childrens safety isn't in their budget any more.
Peggy B. October 08, 2012 at 08:06 PM
My children attended Tremont in the 80's and 90's, and we had this very issue settled back then. The administration decided in conjunction with the parents, that the safety of our children was immensely more important than cutting corners on the budget. Buses were ensured for all elementary students regardless of walking distance. Let's hope when held to a higher standard, they will make the right choice once again.
Sarah Munger Hale November 21, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Get the news involved. The superintendent is a politician he does not care about our kids safety. He cares about how HE looks so start getting newscasters in his face askin hard questions and see if the budget is reconsidered? I have a 4 and a 6 year old who will be fighting cats for Ros space when it snows because there's no sidewalks or crossing guards protecting them. For 12+ yrs a bus has picked up here we are over the .5 depending on how they measure and its really ridiculous how they have both landscapers and a grounds crew. And expensive enno boards when they can use the erasable markers they requested from EVERY child in the school used for a WHITE BOARD. Seems to me wastefulness is their middle name. Also they said the money was allotted for new computers (well ok maybe) and a paint job (wait what?) your risking my kids lives to paint the school? And get new tile? Aesthetic makeovers? Oh right. So the superintendent looks good because his schools look good. First dead kid's blood on his hands and see how fast we get a new superintendent. Call the news people i am just one voice. And I cannot do this alone. We passed the budget and screwed ourselves. We pay thousands in taxes to help find the school's wastefulness. Talk. Vote. Act.
Sarah Munger Hale November 21, 2012 at 06:52 PM
Fighting cars for road space when it snows * sorry autocorrect

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