BEDFORD, N.Y. — Parents may be glad to know that, before students come flooding into school hallways on their first day back Tuesday, Bedford Central School District administrators have taken measures to help students get to school safely and efficiently.
At Wednesday’s Board of Education meeting, the last before school starts, board members heard about several transportation, traffic and signage changes put in place for the impending school year.
Board President Susan Elion Wollin said that, while some parents may have seen school buses doing practice runs over the past few days, they may not have recognized the company name printed on the buses’ exteriors.
Last year, the district outsourced all of its transportation needs to Towne Bus Corp., a move that school officials said is projected to save close to $4.7 million over a period of five years. Thirty-seven of the 55 positions eliminated in the $122.7 million budget passed in May were transportation-related.
Another issue district administration has seen to during recent weeks is clearing the tall grass on traffic islands located in certain areas of the Fox Lane Campus. Assistant Superintendent for Business Mark Betz said that, while some of this area is town property, the administration authorized maintenance staff to cut some of the grass in order to improve visibility for young drivers.
“We just felt that it got to a level where we couldn’t see, and young drivers would not be able to see,” he said. “It was a dangerous situation.”
The administration has also posted signs at both Fox Lane exits that warn against texting and driving. The signs read: “Save a life. Don’t text & drive.”
Wollin said the board was recently contacted by parents who suggested using some vacant space adjacent to the campus exit lane that bears right onto Route 172 to alter that area for ease of access, but without creating another lane.
“It would just smooth it out so people could more simply turn right off the campus,” she said, instead of getting backed up in a line of traffic every morning.
Betz said certain Department of Transportation restrictions might be a barrier to this change, but he would look into it.