Baltimore County parents raise concerns over bus stop near I-83 ramp

Posted at 3:37 PM, Aug 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-24 07:11:00-04

The Taylors moved to a new neighborhood in Cockeysville this summer, which means their kids will be going to a new school and bus stop.

“We were surprised when we were notified that our children's school bus stop was going to be here, on Shawan Road. We're very, very close to I-83. It's about 200 to 300 feet beyond the stop sign where I-83 is,” Joshua Taylor said.

There are no sidewalks in the neighborhood and the stop is half a mile from their home, but the traffic and proximity to a highway is what concerns Taylor most.

“My biggest fear is actually that my children will be involved in an accident and possibly harmed,” he said

His wife relayed that fear to Mays Chapel Elementary School.

“The elementary school sent in a request to Baltimore County public schools transportation. That request to change the bus stop was denied. They said it was evaluated and a safe spot for children to stand,” Taylor said.

He then emailed a cell phone video of the traffic on the road to the Baltimore County Public Schools transportation director David McCrae, the assistant director, Kenny West, and schools superintendent Dallas Dance. The video was taken minutes before the bus is scheduled to pick-up his kids.

"At rush hour traffic, people are driving 65 miles per hour and it's car after car after car," Taylor said.

He's also called tried calling a number of people for more answers.

“I cannot believe that it's been this difficult to have someone just hear us out let alone to get it changed,” he said.

ABC2 News reached out to the school system but no one was available to speak with us on-camera on Tuesday. However, an employee with the transportation office was at the bus stop Tuesday morning taking pictures. She did not want to comment on the status to change the stop but said the photos were for David McCrae to re-assess the bus stop location. We were not told when a decision will be made.

“Tomorrow's the first day of school and I'm very frustrated that it took til then to be re-evaluated,” Taylor said.

The Taylors would like to see their kids picked up at the intersection down the street but because there's no outlet the bus would have to turn around in a cul-de-sac or make a three-point turn. According to Baltimore County Public Schools spokesperson Mychael Dickerson, that's something “transportation staff tries to avoid if at all possible.” In an email, he also wrote:

“Each year, we review bus stops to make sure we are providing the best and most efficient routes to ensure students safely arrive to school and on time.  This year, we used a new routing system that we first communicated last school year.  As always, we will monitor and review all bus stops and will make adjustments if and when necessary.  New bus stops are not unique to this school year but no changes are made without checking for safety first.”

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