Can you tell me where the bus stop is?
Published 6:05 pm, Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Now that school's back in session, we've been wondering what happened to the old-fashioned bus stop.
Driving through Fairfield County in the morning is already an exercise in patience, but when you add buses stopping in front of every two houses, the commute becomes unbearable. And that's not counting the parents who actually walk their kids onto the bus and into a seat.
But first -- what happened to bus stops? When we were kids (no, I'm not talking about walking 2 miles in the snow both ways, I'm talking 20 or so years ago), all the students would meet at the corner and wait to be picked up. The bus actually drove by my house in the morning, and in an effort to get more sleep, I raced down the driveway one day thinking the bus driver would pick me up since she had to drive by anyway. No such luck. She actually stopped to tell me she couldn't pick me up unless I was at a scheduled stop. And then she drove off, leaving me there.
But I digress.
The point is that we all walked to the bus stop, book bags and lunch in hand. The younger kids always had a parent with them -- or the neighborhood parents took turns until we were old enough -- but there was none of this stopping every 30 feet.
Which leads us to wonder -- if each parent is standing in their driveway with one or two kids, why can't they all meet at one central location? It's not like the parents aren't with them, and it's a safety concern. That's another story. But if the parents see their kids off each day, what's the reasoning behind stopping at every house?
That being said, if the road is extremely windy, or a safe corner doesn't exist, then absolutely pick the students up in their driveways. We understand the safety concerns, and we're not trying to take away from that. But many of the roads we travel each morning don't fit into that category, yet we're still stopping regularly.
More stops lead to more opportunities for accidents.
Which brings us to the next point; walking your child on the bus. We understand that in the beginning of the year, kids tend to be nervous or intimidated, and by all means walk them on the bus, take photos and get to know the bus driver. But when it's October, and you're still walking your kid onto the bus each day, it becomes a problem for fellow motorists. Yes, many parents wave to the giant line of cars behind the bus and mouth thank-yous, and while we appreciate the acknowledgment, it does little to get us out of the car any faster. No one likes being stuck behind a school bus -- it's a necessary evil -- but it would be nice if these parents were a bit more considerate of others. Millions of kids ride the bus every day. This isn't new, and it's already a month into the school year.