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Niskayuna parent: 'It gets crazy right now'

Niskayuna High School students negotiate crossing Balltown Rd. on their way to school on Friday morning.
Photographer: Marc Schultz
Niskayuna High School students negotiate crossing Balltown Rd. on their way to school on Friday morning.
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It is a familiar morning ritual at Niskayuna High School. Parents drop off students, many with musical instruments in their hands, as other students walking from the parking lot attempt to navigate across two lanes of traffic to get to the building’s main entrance. “It gets crazy right now,” parent David Davenport said around 7:20 a.m. Friday. Davenport added that he is concerned that students have to cross the roadway without using the marked crosswalks. ...

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October 8, 2012
9:10 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

If dropping off students in any certain area is not safe, why is it permitted? In the photo accompanying the article, there is a crosswalk fifty feet from the students. What, they couldn't use that one?

October 10, 2012
5:31 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

I agree with MN above and would go even further.

All these private vehicles dropping off students create a great deal of congestion, pollution, and energy waste as they idle in line. To add insult to injury, the district has asked taxpayers to pay for empty seats on buses for all the students who are redundantly ferried to school in these private vehicles.

This kind of waste on redundant inefficient school transportation is especially egregious given the school district had to layoff teachers last year!

Aside from students in very unusual situations (e.g., those on crutches due to an injury or disability or those with an unusually large musical instrument or science project) for whom special permits could be issued, there is no reason why a high school student needs to be dropped off by his parents on the grounds of the high school itself.

A little bit of brisk walking at the beginning of the school day is a good thing. I see no reason why unpermitted private vehicles should be allowed to drop off students on high school grounds during the morning arrival period.

There are a variety of places in neighborhoods NEAR the high school where parents could safely pull their vehicles off the road to drop off students so they can safely walk the rest of the way to school. Their students might well spend less time walking the last stretch of the way to school from those nearby dropoff points than they would have spent sitting in the car as their parents inched along in the congested drop-off lines.

When I was in high school decades ago, my fellows students and I took regular city public transit buses to school. We still had a certain amount of walking to do--since city bus routes did not attempt to provide the door-to-door service many students apparently expect from their parents.

My high school had no driveways nor did it have parking for students or parents. I do not ever recall seeing a parent drop off a student at my school. It might have happened in exceptional circumstances, but I don't remember such a thing.

In the long run, I think that Capital District local government and school officials should take a leaf from the city in which I grew up and display more collaborative problem solving skills by:

1) spending less money on school bus transportation
2) spending more money on safe sidewalk and bike routes
3) contracting with CDTA to provide frequent morning and afternoon shuttles along a few major arterial routes (e.g., route 7, Balltown, River Road, Van Antwerp, Nott) that would be necessary to keep the amount of walking to a reasonable level for distant students. These shuttles could be available to the general public as well as to students.

Mary O'Keeffe

October 10, 2012
6:14 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Without having any opinion one way or the other, I was curious about the distance between the students crossing the street in the photo and the crosswalk, so I looked it up. 400'. So for students to get from point A to point B... just crossing the street is about 30'. Or to go to the crosswalk, that would be over 800'. It's not difficult to see why they'd opt for the 30' option.