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Willow Lane Bus Issue Advances

Motion to take $60,000 from the budgetary fund reserve to pay for buses for Willow Lane is tabled until the Aug. 13 meeting of the East Penn Board of School Directors.

The voted 5-3 last night to table a motion to use $60,000 from the budgetary reserve fund to reinstate busing for students who live within 1.5 miles of .

The motion, made by School Director Julian Stolz, came at the end of a meeting that began with nearly 30 minutes of public comment by Willow Lane parents who came out to urge the board to reconsider its decision to eliminate busing for those Willow Lane students living within “walking distance” of the school.

Do you think the East Penn Board of School Directors should reconsider its decision to eliminate busing at Willow Lane?

School Director Rebecca Heid made a motion to table Stolz’ motion before any discussion among the board occurred, stating that she would like to give the administration time to put together its plan for Willow Lane and present that plan to the board before making any decision on Stolz’ motion.

East Penn Superintendent of Schools Thomas L. Seidenberger assured Heid that that plan would be ready for the board at its next meeting, scheduled for Aug. 13.

Those taking the podium about Willow Lane last night focused on a common theme, questioning the board’s willingness to put the safety of elementary school students at risk in exchange for financial savings that equate to such a tiny percentage of East Penn’s $125 million budget.

They also repeatedly pointed out the seeming lack of a plan for how the new transportation scheme will be handled at Willow Lane.

Richard Muller of Macungie said that he didn’t think enough thought had been put into the decision about Willow Lane busing, asking if the traffic impact study being used to guide this decision was even conducted recently enough to be viable.

“There have been a lot of new developments in the area and the traffic counts are probably actually much higher,” said Muller, who described himself as a Willow Lane parent. “Yeah, you save $60,000 on busing, but you have no plan for how the kids are going to be managed, no plan to get the kids into the school.

“How are you going to get the 320 additional cars in and out of there?” he asked. “This just seems like a knee jerk reaction to cut $60,000. I ask that you take another look at it and really dive into the details before you make this decision.”

Mullers comments, like those of the half dozen others who addressed the board, were met with audience applause.

Willow Lane busing was cut as part of a .

Really? July 12, 2012 at 02:23 AM
Really Thomas? You have resorted to calling children "Fat"???? Amazing....like you are any better then the "fat" kids. Glad to see you have the children's best interest in mind.
careless fills July 12, 2012 at 12:34 PM
Safety is paramount. Even Stolz recognizes this. The administration and the rest of the school board would be foolish not to come to the same conclsuion. The only good that will come out of this little escapade is that when the next budget is developed, EPSD will discover that it will have pelenty of fund balance after spending $60,000 from the reserve, and in the process that it's taxpayers will have avoided an additional, unnecessary 0.04 mill increase!
LMTnative July 12, 2012 at 03:51 PM
This is a double standard! The kids at Lincoln and Jefferson can walk to school. However the entitled folks near Willow think they are too good for it. Wake up people, you're not that special.
Joyce12 September 19, 2012 at 03:40 PM
One point that has not been made is that the difference between walking to Lincoln or Jefferson and walking to Willow Lane is sidewalks. I teach a class at Willow Lane in the early afternoon and I would not want to be walking on those roads. Drivers drive as though they are late for their last meal. There is a lot more traffic on all of the surrounding roads than you would think. Where would the kids walk safely?
Ron Beitler September 19, 2012 at 03:45 PM
I've done a survey of walking paths. Including the bike paths along willow and saurkraut. Almost all the developments that have been listed can walk safely. Now there ARE exceptions. (willows lane into the village of East Texas, down Mill Creek Rd., Across Brookside.) But the core surrounding Saurkraut and Willow is completely walkable. In fact safer then borough because bike paths are offset off the road an average of 10 foot. NOW we NEED crossing guards and better cross walk paintings. And while I do not support a stop light at that intersection, I do support a flashing light crosswalk like is installed in Downtown Macungie. This + Human guards during school walking times.

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