I wish to provide perspective to the Happy Valley Elementary School proposal to route bus and school traffic on side streets of the Happy Valley neighborhood.
Assistant Superintendent Ron Cowen wants to route school traffic down Mill Avenue and 27th Street — both are without sidewalks and narrow — not wide enough to accommodate a garbage truck and car together.
The architects proposed a plan that would not use the school property for the bus route for student pickup. I believe Cowen would like to use the quiet side streets on Mill and 27th as to not use budgeted monies for bus-traffic lanes on school property.
As a member of the Bellingham community I have a problem with the use of buses and school traffic down side streets without sidewalks for four reasons: the streets would be unsafe for children and elders of our community; the streets are not main thoroughfares and have blind spots without sidewalks; removal of large, old established trees; and 27th Street is a dead end.
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I believe in a simple solution, that other local schools have had success with: Make a driveway for buses and school traffic at the school in order to accommodate their own flow of traffic.
Our neighborhood is in support of the new school expansion, construction and increase in students. We want neighborhood safety considered when making transportation decisions and school traffic kept on school property.