Unsafe School Bus Stop

, Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Wed, April 4 2012 at 2:59 PM, Updated: Wed, April 4 2012 at 3:17 PM

Some Bly Mountain residents say a blind corner on Highway 140 makes for a very dangerous school bus stop - and that they're having trouble getting short, and long-term fixes.

David Pierson says the corner is most dangerous when kids are getting dropped off at around 3:30 after school...

"The bus has to stop, the kids have to cross the highway in front of the bus, and the drivers are coming off this large hill."

Student Sam Pierson says there have been too many close calls...

"Probably the scariest one was when a semi came down and didn't see the bus until they were already too late - and nobody thought he was going to be able to stop in time.  Everybody just kind of scattered."

School bus driver Squeek McGilvray says she's aware of the dangers...

"And with the blind corner back here, trucks coming off this highway, cars in the snow and the ice, it's ugly...  it's not good."

ODOT has plans to re-align the highway, but it could be 2 or more years before that project gets underway.  Some say that feels like a dangerously long wait.  In the meantime, some have suggested removing a few trees at a tight corner to improve visibility. 

"My solution would be a flashing yellow light.  That would be just to wake the driver up."  Says David Pierson.

Klamath County Schools Transportation Supervisor Shawn Snoozy says it's not that easy...

"I don't own the property - so I can't go out there and cut down trees, and ODOT has regulations on what we can put up on the highway, and what we can't."

But parent Mike Nichols is one of those nearby who's getting impatient...

"I don't want something to happen bad, like a kid to get hit before we do something about it."

But for now, drivers will just have to slow down...and hope for the best.

If you've got safety concerns about a school bus stop or intersection in your neighborhood, it's best to start by notifying your local school district office.

About the Author

Lyle Ahrens

KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's.  He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.

Lyle's job history is quite colorful.  He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand.  A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer.  In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.

Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.  "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain.  Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".

When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.

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