On January 19, Molly Leutz went to social media with a major issue plaguing Burroughs Community School parents and bus drivers for weeks–her kids’ school bus was, once again, stuck due to the narrowed streets.
Stuck with children on the bus.
“This is the 6th time our bus has gotten stuck on narrowed streets. This time kids had to be removed to find a different way to school,” Leutz’s Twitter post read.
Leutz explained that her kids’ bus route isn’t a favorite of any bus driver’s because Tangletown is full of narrow streets and hills.
But after the big snowfall in early January, the already narrow streets lost even more space, pinning school buses into impossibly tight spaces.
So what do the bus drivers do?
One driver sometimes reverses down a hill to try another way, which isn’t ideal, according to Leutz.
Drivers can’t leave their buses unattended, so if they are really stuck, they honk for help hoping that someone hears them.
Leutz’s daughter was able to text her mom from her watch when the bus got stuck.
“I think we’re stuck, can someone come?” she texted her mom.
Leutz conveyed a concern for the bus drivers who aren’t seeing any relief in re-plowed streets or implementing single-sided parking. She is also concerned about general accessibility.
“If a school bus cant get through I don't think a fire engine can get through," Leutz said.
All of the parents at Leutz’s bus stop, around five or six families, submitted 311 reports and Leutz reached out to Councilmember Emily Koski’s office, who also suggested a 311 report.
“There should be some systemic answer,” Leutz said, rather than parents and neighbors running around asking people to move their cars to try to get buses through.
Leutz and other parents believe that single-sided parking on certain streets, like Elmwood Place West and 52nd Street, would help bus drivers navigate the narrow streets.
Without a systemic answer in the last two weeks, Rachel Ulfers, a Burroughs parent, organized enough neighbors on January 20 to get single-sided parking on Elmwood.
“Everyone is cool with it,” Ulfers said. “We have single family dwellings on our block, a couple with driveways, and everyone seems to have good mobility if they need to walk a few houses to get back home.”
On Monday morning, Ulfers told Southwest Voices that people kept to the single-sided parking over the weekend even though the neighbor-initiated parking rules were only set until 5 p.m. on weekdays.
Last week, Southwest Voices reported that Public Works was "posting and plowing" streets based on 311 reports and emergency vehicle access.
Late Monday afternoon, Leutz sent Southwest Voices a photo of No Parking signs posted on the north side of 52nd St.