Belmont urges use of school buses over driving amid traffic concerns

Police in town ideally want students taking the bus or walking to school when classes start in a few weeks

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Parents in one Boston suburb are being urged to send their children to school on the bus, and not to drive them, amid traffic concerns in town.

The big concern from police in Belmont is traffic around morning drop-off and afternoon pick up times. They have signs posted showing where to park – but between buses, bikes, walkers and drivers – it can be quite a mess.

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Belmont Police Chief James Mac Isaac posted a letter to parents saying that he hopes parents will consider not driving their children to school to help alleviate some of the traffic congestion around the district’s six school buildings when the school year starts Sept. 6th.

Families in Framingham preparing to go back to school are contending with a bus driver shortage.

Chief Mac Isaac said the traffic is especially challenging in the area of the middle and high school — as well as Wellington and Burbank — due to new traffic patterns and ongoing construction projects.

He said the school parking lots, and the roads around them, are not conducive to the amount of motor vehicle traffic that occurs around the start and end of the school day.

The chief is asking parents to consider having their child take the bus or walk to school with them. He said he understands some parents may have no other options, but asks that if they do need to drive, they obey all parking restrictions, traffic laws and school crossing guards.

The return to the classroom can be a hard adjustment for kids. But there are ways to help them ease their way back.

“Every week during the school year we receive complaints that pertain to motor vehicle traffic around our schools. The vast majority of violators we identify are parents," Chief Mac Isaac said in the letter.

Busing is free for kids in K-6 who live two miles or more from school. But – even though the district reduced the busing fee for other students this school year – it’s still $450 per student.

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