Now that the 2013-2014 school year is under way and more Willow Lane students are heading to class on foot, some Willow Lane parents are again upset about school buses. In particular, they are concerned about school bus safety issues related to Willow Lane students as they are picked up and dropped off at the school and maneuver around and between parked and moving buses on the Willow Lane campus.
Once again, the Willow Lane parents are being rallied by Susan Coenen, a mom who last year made Willow’s safe transition to a walking school her mission.
This time Coenen is drawing attention to safety hazards such as buses that she says do not move far enough away from the curb before making left turns out of the bus area, causing their rear ends to cross over the sidewalks where children could be walking.
Coenen is attempting to alert parents to such hazards through a Facebook group dubbed Protect the H.A.W.K, where the acronym stands for Health and Wellness of our Kids. The tagline of the group reads, “A group for those dedicated to protecting the health and wellness of the children who attend Willow Lane Elementary School.”
On Wednesday Coenen posted a video on the group’s Facebook page, that can also be found on YouTube, that comes with the following description from Coenen:
“Watch the rear portion of this bus as it drives away from the curb. It comes extremely close to extending over the sidewalk where the children are walking. This was actually a good turn. I have witnessed the rear portion of other buses moving over a significant portion of the sidewalk as they pull away,” she writes.
Some Willow Lane parents are expressing their dismay about Coenen's video in comments on the H.A.W.K. Facebook page.
Coenen also posted photos of children she identified as fifth-graders returning from recess, squeezing between two parked buses to get back to the school because the crosswalk was blocked and photos of buses parked with their tail end over the sidewalk at dismissal time.
The latter situation she described in an email message to Willow Principal Anthony Moyer that she also shared with Patch.
“Also, while awaiting students at the end of the school day,” she writes, “the bus at the front of the line is ALWAYS parked with the rear of the bus over the sidewalk, which also presents a danger for pedestrians and is unacceptable. Here are some photos that I took earlier this week.”
The photos that Coenen references in her email to Moyer are posted with this article.