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Should More Students Take the Bus To School?

One resident who lives across from Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School had some signs up this fall that prompted a discussion about students taking the bus to school.

There's often traffic backups around the schools - and especially along Route 1A near Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School and Miles River Middle School - at opening and closing times.

Some of the traffic is from students. All 136 students spaces at the high school have been sold, according to Donna Bunk, administrative assistant to Superintendent Michael Harvey. And about 650 students ride the bus each day, according to Bunk, based on data provided by Salter Transportation, which operates the school district's buses.

That is about 57 percent of the 1,135 students that go to school on the combined campus - 430 at the middle school and 705 at the high school.

The traffic backups prompted one school neighbor to put up signs this fall that have stirred discussion. The signs read: "Tired of Sitting in Traffic? Put Your Kids on the Bus."

What do you think? Should more students take the bus to school? Are there other ways to eliminate traffic congestion near the schools? Tell us below in the comments section.

Laetitia Allen Rodde November 17, 2012 at 06:36 PM
The bus is free to everyone, for now. Case in point: California, where there are no more busses! Take advantage of this service while you can, and be green, too.
David West November 17, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Why can't all the kids in a neighborhood walk to one meeting point to be picked up? It really bothers me that the buses have to stop at every house and pick up kids. Not sure if this is the case in Hamilton but I get stuck behind school buses frequently for miles and when I drive by I often see a parent sitting in a car at the end of the driveway with the car idling while the kids stay nice and toasty. How is this helping our kids be strong? I get stuck in the school traffic often and it's frustrating so I also wish there was a better solution.
Max Counihan November 17, 2012 at 08:29 PM
I think I'm the only student to comment on this so far, so here goes. I park in one of those 136 spots everyday, and frankly while traffic isn't pleasent, I have learned to live with it. I've carpooled with neighbors and siblings to to school for the past four years, and this year I drive home neighbors whenever they need a lift. Aside from choice kids, I live about as far away from the school a possible for a HW student (I live near 128/Gordon, approx a 12 minute commute. I leave at 7:12 every morning and with traffic am still able to make it to school with 5-10 minutes to spare. In tema of a student driving to school, it's really not that bad. Someone earlier commented that kids in a neighborhood should walk to a mutual meeting point to get picked up. While that may work for a small neighborhood/single street, for larger neighborhoods such as Asbury Grove and Parsons Hill, that really wouldn't work. The whole "put your kids on the bus" campaign that is apparently going on makes sense but is unneeded. Aside from parents who are late to work because of dropping off your kids (you should be putting your children on the bus anyway), just be patient and sit in "traffic" for an extra five minutes out of your day. We are two small towns, and HWRHS happens to be on 1A. It's practically unavoidable to not sit in traffic for an extra five mins every morning due to the schools position, I know from experience. Leave home a couple minutes earlier if need be.
Blair Spofford December 14, 2012 at 02:57 PM
Max is absolutely right!If you are driving the same route to work every day, you know that there will be "back-up" at certain points.In the morning, when I leave my house to pick up my school bus, I know that if I leave 2 minutes late, I will get behind one of "those" school buses, therefore making me late.It is within our control! As for buses pulling over each time there is a line of traffic behind us? Sure, we could do that, however, that adds time to the childrens' ride time.We try to only keep students on the bus for half an hour, maximum. Pulling over would add time to the route. I have been driving a bus in HW for 14 years. It is a GREAT job with GREAT students! I, for one, have NEVER had a problem with bullying and communicate with all parents/students to make sure that there are no problems. I may be out-of-line here by saying this but, if you see a problem with bullying on the bus, maybe you should talk to your driver. This is our job! If a driver is not paying attention, they should not be driving your children. On another note, my son attends St. John's Prep. I DO love picking him up every day, having that one-on-one time, however, I would LOVE to save on gas and time and save that one-on-one time for when he got off if there was a bus available to drop him off.
Blair Spofford December 14, 2012 at 02:58 PM
sorry...I ran out of space...........What I see? I see so many parents who are TOLD by their children that they refuse to take the bus because it is a "Loser Cruiser" (Holly...it is the children that that label this...not the parents). I say....TAKE THAT OPTION AWAY FROM YOUR CHILDREN! They take the bus, PERIOD! My 2 boys always took the bus. There wasn't another option given to them. I took the bus throughout my school years...there wasn't another option given! As for the congestion? Go and sit by each school for 10 minutes before school starts and 10 minutes after. VOILA...the congestion is gone. It is a necessary evil, but to Max' point...learn to accept it and move on. If you want to drive your child to school? You are welcome to...just be patient and understanding. It is simple. We live in a wonderful community with wonderful students (believe me...I have driven for some other schools on trips). We should all be very proud! Let's support one another in whatever decision is made.

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