New construction in an East Amherst neighborhood is forcing Williamsville Central Schools to consider picking up students from a central bus stop along Transit Road, instead of near their homes where they are picked up now.
"We're dealing children's lives now going to school," said Sara Glena. Her son, 9-year-old Dustin, attends Maple West Elementary. "You shouldn't have to worry about your child's safety when waiting for the bus in the morning."
Glena lives in the Dockside Village luxury apartment complex. Her, and many other parents in the development, are concerned about potentially having their children standing along a 55 mph stretch of Transit Rd. every morning.
"Is somebody texting while driving? Is somebody not paying attention? You just don't know," Glena said. "Not a whole lot of room for error along this road."
Williamsville Schools says the decision is not final, but they have sent letters to the property manager and parents inside Dockside Village. New construction has eliminated a turnaround school buses had used in previous school years. Bus drivers are now forced to make three point turns to get back to Transit Rd. which is "not safe and not allowed", according to a district spokesperson.
The letter says if a solution can't be found before October 31, children will need to wait at a designated spot on Transit and Dockside Parkway for their bus.
That includes Dustin Glena, who lives with autism. His mother relies on bus pickup near the front door to be sure he is getting to and from school safely.
"We can send him out and there's not going to be a problem," she explained. "You can still see him from the door. You can still see him from the upper porch."
Dockside Village and the district are working together to come to an agreement. The Village is hoping to have buses travel straight through the development from Transit to Millersport Highway via a newly opened road. That way, no buses would need to turn around at all.
"Safety has been the number one priority for Dockside Village," said Cory Aeurbach, an attorney for the apartment complex. "Dockside Village is doing everything to ensure the safety of the students living there."
The development and district are both openly optimistic some solution can be agreed to before any students will be asked to wait on Transit Rd.