Bus shelter recommendation draws anger

A Chilliwack River Valley resident is “appalled” at the school district’s recommended motion not to build bus shelters for students living in the area.

A Chilliwack River Valley resident is “appalled” at the school district’s recommended motion not to build bus shelters for students living in the area.

Glen Thompson of Friends of the Chilliwack River Valley does not have children in the school district, but every morning he sees kids, just outside his house, standing “within a foot” of Chilliwack Lake Road, which has a speed limit of 80 km/h and heavy truck traffic.

“They’re playing with fire,” said Thompson, who’s concerned about flying rocks hitting kids.

“One of these days someone is going to get hurt out there; it’s just a matter of time.

“You’d think, being a school district, they’d be really concerned about the safety of these kids.”

At tonight’s board meeting, the school district will be recommending the board approve a motion that will continue to monitor the situation, but not build any bus shelters at this time.

The school district started researching bus shelters for the Chilliwack River Valley in January after trustee John Henry Harter heard concerns from residents in the area.

The Chilliwack River Valley has 119 kids bused to and from school and 27 bus stops; 17 located on Chilliwack Lake Road.

Most are unprotected.

According to the school district’s report, staff looked at condensing the 17 bus stops, for 40 students, on Chilliwack Lake Road into three stops, and building shelters for each of those stops at a total cost of $10,000.

But by doing that, some students would be required to walk down Chilliwack Lake Road or be driven by their parents. Several of the bus stops currently are located at the ends of residential driveways.

The report also noted that bus shelters were high maintenance and were subject to vandalism.

Staff are recommending the board write to the Ministry of Highways regarding the safety concerns; write letters to gravel truck companies informing them of the hours that students are picked up and dropped off; and advise parents to ensure their children remain at a safe distance from the road until the school bus arrives.

That’s not good enough for Thompson. He hopes trustees will go against the recommended motion.

“This is about little kids,” he said. “They are at risk.”

The board will be voting on the motion at tomorrow night’s board meeting, which is being held at Sardis secondary at 7 p.m.

kbartel@theprogress.com

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