Arlington Parents for Safe School Transportation (APSST) is concerned about the safety of our children. Arlington Public Schools have implemented a new student transportation policy that places many children at risk by eliminating their bus service. This new APS policy affects YOU if you are a walker, driver, or commuter in Arlington, since you are certain to be affected by the significant impact on traffic caused by fewer students receiving bus service to school.
Sign the petition NOW to let Arlington County know that you, too, are concerned about the elimination of bus service for some APS students. APSST is respectfully requesting Arlington County Schools place a an immediate moratorium on the implementation of the Arlington Public Schools new student transportation plan; and implement a truly public and transparent process for the creation and rollout of a new student transportation plan.
Arlington Public Schools just notified parents of plans to arbitrarily enforce a one-mile walk zone rule for elementary schools and one and one half mile walk zone for middle and high school students. Many children had received bus service in past years as a result of demonstrated safety concerns. However, APS has eliminated service for most of those children for the 2012-3 school year.
Dear Superintendent Murphy, School Board Chair Violand-Sanchez, County Board Chair Hynes, and County Manager Donnellan:
We, the undersigned, are extremely concerned about the new Arlington Public Schools (APS) student transportation plan for the 2012-13 school year. This policy eliminates bus transportation for many students living within walk zones, who received bus service for decades due to safety concerns.
We respectfully request APS immediately halt implementation of this plan, and put into place a more public and transparent process before moving forward.
Our concerns stem from the fact that the 2012-13 student transportation plan fails to address the safety of students, was put into place opaquely, and just before the start of school. Many students who are now designated as walkers do not have sidewalks for the extent of their trip to their elementary schools.
An additional concern is that the drop-off process for parents choosing to drive students to school already causes congestion and dangerous situations on busy roads near elementary schools; additional hundreds of vehicles (instead of a few buses) adding to this volume will not increase the safety of students or motorists.
In the past, the safety of our Country’s children was considered by APS, even though many of them lived within the walk boundaries of one mile for elementary schools, and one and one half miles for middle and high schools; they were provided bus transportation. Eliminating this service for the 2012-13 school year places our children at increased risk, worsens congestion, and provides additional disruptions for commuters.
Many of Arlington’s schools cannot handle the increased vehicle and foot traffic that will result from the new policy, since APS estimates now that over 9,000 children are designated as walkers, making arriving and departing from school more dangerous than it needs to be for our children, parents and other caregivers, teachers, and other school staff. We appreciate efforts to achieve greater transportation efficiency, but this conclusion fails to meet the safety test for the affected children.
Furthermore, the timing of the implementation was poor. Parents were notified just two weeks before the first day of school of the transportation status of their child or children, which left little time to make alternate arrangements.
In closing, we again request the immediate halt of the implementation of the new APS transportation plan, and for APS to employ a more transparent and open process for future plans.
Thank you in advance for your consideration of our requests.
Thank you for taking the time to let Arlington County know that you disagree with the recent changes to the Arlington County school bus transportation policy as well as to ask for a moratorium on the implementation.
Since the School Board continued to implement the changes, now we are requesting that the policy be revised through another petition and hope you will be willing to sign it here: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/232/899/977/put-arlington-county-students-back-on-the-bus-revise-the-school-board-transportation-policy-50-5-now/
Please distribute the link far and wide so that we have as many signatures as possible before close of business on October 3, so that we can print it out before the October 4 School Board meeting.
Thanks in advance,
Keep up the great work. Look what you've accomplished!
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