Take Our Poll: How Far is Too Far for Willow Lane Students to Walk?
Is 1.5 miles too far for elementary school students to walk?
Several parents approached East Penn School directors at the June 25 meeting to express concern over the possibility of the elimination of busing of students who live within 1.5 miles of Willow Lane Elementary School.
The elimination, made a reality in a 6-3 vote, will save the district $60,000.
The parents who feared for their children's safety mentioned the blind curves along Willow Lane, others the absence sidewalks in some places.
Todd Solomon, a father of three Willow Lane students, identified the absence of crossing guards.
Jonathan Berger echoed Solomon, adding details such as the logistical nightmare that would occur as hundreds of parents deliver their children every morning.
He also mentioned predators, snow, freezing temperatures and the vehicle emissions that will cloud the air.
When parents were through, board members discussed the issue.
Director Julian Stolz vowed continued -- though eventually futile -- support for maintaining the busing of all students.
Superintendent Thomas Seidenberger reminded taxpayers that Willow Lane was planned as a school to which students were intended to walk.
Director Alan Earnshaw agreed.
"The busing issue is not new. We talked about this all through the planning process. We put off eliminating the buses because it was a nice thing to do," Earnshaw said, adding the economic climate no longer can accommodate the service.
Director Lynn Donches suggested introducing the the action in "baby steps," by eliminating buses two days a week.
Her suggestion was discounted.
Patch readers expressed several ideas after the story appeared Tuesday. Among them was one that suggested the district could shorten the distance beyond which students -- aged 5 to 10 -- would walk to a half or three-quarters of a mile instead of 1.5 miles.
What do you think?