LINKS
2010-11-24 / Opinions

Riding the school bus solves traffic problems

My first reaction to the [Nov. 3] article about traffic control at Cosby High School was total disgust. I think Ms. Gallagher and the other parents that are complaining are missing the big picture. It seems painfully obvious to me that the least expensive, most effective way to cure the traffic problem at Cosby, Clover Hill or any other high school for that matter, is to make our children ride the bus. Don’t get me wrong, I am just as guilty as the next person of indulging my child’s whims and dislike of riding the bus by taking him to school. However, I do not believe that gives me the right to demand that the county spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to build roads or assign our county’s police officers to accommodate his whims.

Aside from the issue of putting additional demands on an already strained county budget, we should all also consider the fact that by driving each of our individual children to school, we are all adding exhaust pollution to the environment and burning up that expensive fuel that we all like to complain about the price of. Not to mention the fact that the school has to fork out the money to pay the officers, who, by the way, are driving county-owned vehicles and burning county-paid gas – our tax dollars hard at work to ensure that our own personal princes and princesses get to school in relative comfort.

This year, thousands of dollars were cut from sports programs, art programs, teachers’ salaries and a virtual myriad of much more important things. Is this a compromise that we are all willing to make? Not me. Or perhaps the biggest question of all: Are county planners responsibly controlling suburban growth in Chesterfield County? If the county would really like to turn their eye toward a congestion problem, may I suggest Bailey Bridge Road? Bailey Bridge is a two-lane country road that services five schools – Crenshaw Elementary, Bailey Bridge Middle, Manchester High, Alberta Smith Elementary and Spring Run Elementary – [all contributing to the] copious amount of traffic on this too-small road. I would be very curious to see the results of a traffic study conducted on this single stretch.

Having lived off of Bailey Bridge for 10 years, I have personally witnessed many accidents, both small and more serious. I believe that trumps the couple of fender benders that have occurred on Fox Club Parkway. If I am being completely honest, I must admit that what bothered me the most was the attitude that the article conveyed. It smacks of entitlement in an already higher-income, largely white-collar area of the county. So, I turn the question around: “Why do they get that, and we don’t?”
Laurie Edwards
Midlothian
 

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