Barrage of buses irks WPB neighborhood

By Lindsay Cohen email | bio

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - Every morning, Sandra Brasch is woken up by the sound of a school bus.

And then another.

And another.

One morning she counted: 54 school buses in the two hours, from 5 to 7 am.

"Nobody does anything about it," Brasch said, standing outside her suburban West Palm Beach home. "They just don't understand. This is disrupting our lives."

The disruption, Brasch says, comes from the exhaust. The engine noise. The flashing lights.

"You get worked up and you're laying in bed and it's almost like having road rage right in your own bed," Brasch said.

Brasch lives at Davis Road and Collin Drive, an intersection that school buses use to travel south and west from the Palm Beach County School District transportation hub on Summit Boulevard, said district spokesman Nat Harrington.

Many residents argue the buses should be using Summit to travel west, instead of going south through the neighborhood, but the district believes that would be unsafe.

"While the district is sympathetic to the community, the intersection of Davis at Summit Blvd. has an unusual northward angle which makes a left turn from Davis onto westbound Summit a safety hazard which would endanger lives," Harrington said in a statement.

"A traffic signal would be the best solution," Harrington continued. "The district has made the request [and] the county has considered it but has indicated that the traffic volume does not currently justify a traffic signal."

Residents also believe a traffic signal at Summit Boulevard and Davis Road would help, Brasch said, so that the buses could use Summit to head west.

The county studied the intersection in September 2007 and determined that not enough cars traveled the intersection to warrant a traffic signal, said Mo Al-Turk, the assistant director of the county's traffic division.

Brasch said that she isn't giving up, and hopes to rally neighbors to attend school board meetings and to call county leaders to demand a traffic light or that the buses get rerouted.

"Just use the main road," she said. "I know a traffic light costs a lot of money. They're the highest taxing authority in Palm Beach County. All we're asking for: if you need a light, put a light up."