Parents outraged after dangerous bus stop reinstated in Loudoun County
PURCELLVILLE, Va. (ABC7) —
Loudoun County parents are outraged that a bus stop at North Fork and Cockerill Road in Purcellville was deemed unsafe by Loudoun County Public School Transportation last year but is now back in service this school year.
“I just assumed it was an error,” said concerned parent, Kristin Washko. “Last year, we appealed it, the school board agreed and said yes this is unsafe.”
Washko said nothing changed with the roadway between then and now. She said the district’s explanation for the change is that the stop fits the new parameters adopted after their appeal.
Loudoun County Schools spokesperson Wayde Byard says the district hired outside consultants using routing software to design a more efficient bus route. The move was an effort to ease issues with driver shortages and shorten the length of time kids spend on the bus.
Parents say their country roads have many problems that a computer can't see.
“The subcommittee that voted on this (last year) came out and visited themselves. Everybody agreed this was an unsafe situation,” said parent Adrienne Gardner. “There are no shoulders, no easements, no sidewalks. The stop is literally in the road.”
Parents also argue the roads are very narrow, there’s lots of dust creating visibility issues on top of blind curves and no street lighting to guide students in winter months when it gets darker earlier.
Parents said the district also told them this decision can't be appealed. Parents plan to keep working with the school board on a better solution.