Why don't we have a bus to Ridgeview?

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I do not wish to ruffle any feathers by asking this question; however, it is obvious from previous discussions both on and off line that the situation as it stands is extremely unsafe. We live more than 1 1/2 miles from Ridgeview. My 6th grader to be is only 10 years old. Expecting him to walk that distance, more likely than not, by himself is not an option. When I was in school, no matter what the distance, there was a bus available if crossing a major road was the only way to school. Some of the kids across Rte 28 live closer to Ridgeview than we do, and they have a bus to safely take them to school. As the day comes closer that I have to drive him to and from school everyday, I become more and more upset about the existing situation. I must admit that although the addition of a light and crossing guard at the Little Quarry-Quince Orchard intersection may make the crossing safer, it still does not make me feel comfortable sending a 10 year old off at 7 something in the morning and hoping he makes it to school all right. It is one thing for a 13 or 14 year old 8th grader, but quite a different story for a young 6th grader. I am certain I am not the only parent who feels this way. What can we do to end the madness!! :)

-- Lauren Paiva (LKP9@aol.com), June 13, 2000


This is my recollection of the history of why there is no bus service to Ridgeview: about 4-5 years ago there was a school boundary change that turned into a very difficult experience. In the first proposals submitted by the school board, Rachel Carson students were to be bussed to both the new middle and new high school in Germantown, instead of going to either Ridgeview or Quince Orchard. One strategy for fighting that outcome was to have Kentlands students declared as "walkers" to their middle school, Ridgeview. I think at that same time, for the whole school system, the distance from the school for which bus service is provided was changed. I don't know how they figure busy streets into all that, and for what age groups it makes a difference. At that time, our goal was to stay at Ridgeview and the "walker" status made that easier to argue. In the end, a lot of parents end up driving their kids in the morning and the kids walk home in the afternoon. I can't even remember what the signage is like on Quince Orchard but if it isn't there, it might help to have some of those neon-like school crossing signs and/or reduced speed limits at certain times of day to make the crosswalk safer.

-- Elly Shaw-Belblidia (mirinor@aol.com), June 15, 2000.

I've always thought that having a pedestrian bridge crossing Quince Orchard Road at that Kentlands entrance would be a safe alternative to having the kids run across the four lanes of traffic in the afternoon. I've seen a few close calls, and fear it is only a matter of time before someone is hit. Even a light doesn't really insure safety, but a small walkover bridge would. Just a thought from a dad with a child starting at Ridgeview next year.

-- Richard Attix (ylekiot@erols.com), December 27, 2002.

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