LETTER: Mom Seeks to Clarify School Boundary Transportation Issue
Nov 29, 2016 01:36PM ● Published by Steven Jack
A statement regarding how Lakewood Creek subdivision students would "only" have three stoplights if we our students are uprooted to Thompson. What was failed to be mentioned is one of those stoplights is rated the most dangerous in the area.
According to Kendall County Now, The Orchard Road and Route 30 intersection has an "F" rating for traffic movements. 50,000 vehicles cross through the intersection everyday. 70 to 80 percent of Caterpillar's trucks use this route. Traffic is due to increase 70 percent by 2040 at this intersection. It has the highest accident rate in the area.
Yes, this route to Thompson is "only" three stoplights, but at what cost? Where does saving the bottom line and safety for the children meet?
Our route to Traughber, our school for years is clear due to construction at Route 71 coming to an end. Calls for major work within 5 years at Orchard and Route 30 persist. This would be years and years of work and heavy traffic backups. More heavy than already exists now.
The county board chairman stated "in response to the carnage up there at Orchard and Route 30, there have been some real doozies." Anyone that has tried to navigate this intersection especially in the afternoon knows exactly what I am describing. The amount of cars that run red lights at this location is widely known. The traffic backups to the bridge over Route 31 are heavy.
Aside from the fact that this route would have many more school buses driving through the residential streets of Boulder Hill five days a week. "Flipping" our junior high students is a complete unnecessary stress on the students, not needed at all due to enrollment decreasing after 2017, a complete disruption in their education and crumbling of their world academically and emotionally.
The fact that our students at the most vulnerable age who are already the only in the district singled out to be uprooted from Traughber are then asked to go the most dangerous and heavily congested route to a brand new school is not right. Our subdivision students have given and given over the years for the district.
The one thing that we will not give is the safety of our students to save money on transportation. Students should be the very last affected by budget issues. Updating technology is a big cost to the district. Mac to School is a great way to cut costs with technology. Grants for solar energy to save with electricity are available. There are many creative ways to cut costs without affecting the students.
Budget issues throughout Illinois are a very real issue. That is a fact. The district is digging itself out of a hole. This we understand. What is not understood is why our tweens in particular are having to pay the price for it with Plan B. It's not a long term population spike as seen clearly in the data, then what are we left to think as parents? 1.5 years of a population spike that goes down every year after is not a justification for this many students being affected. Plan C is not a "band aid" approach.
The junior high feeders do not need to change. We are already half way through the spike and it ends in 2018. My son Ian, was in a school bus accident when he was five years old in Sycamore. There is nothing more terrifying then waiting at that bus stop and not having your child arrive safely. I still think of that day when my now 11 year old gets on the bus. I'm grateful he travels safe routes to Traughber.
I know the board loves all the kids in the district as if they were their own. Many of you are parents. As the board goes to vote on the 12th, please think about the junior high students. They are older, sometimes a little more opinionated but still need a voice to stand up for them. I have faith you will all make the right decision for our tweens. Thank you for all you do for our kids.