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POLL: Nearby Tomlinson Students Encouraged to Walk

Officials are monitoring bus routes and working on redesigning the school's parking lot; in the meantime, students can help by going on foot or by bus.

Between the and the , Fairfield’s middle school students - especially those who attend - have been having a rough school year.

Parents protest the lengthy rides by picking up and dropping off their kids. Education officials urge students to use the district’s buses rather than clog the roads and bus loops.

The bottom line?

“We need a solution that will separate the car traffic from the bus traffic,” Superintendent of Schools David Title told Patch on Monday.

“We do have space for all our buses to line up at our middle schools; the mixing of the cars and the buses are the biggest concern at this time.”

The district-wide, long-term solution is to adjust the bus routes to shorten the time children spend on buses so they are encouraged to use the system. Title said officials are monitoring the time it takes the buses to actually run their routes versus the time set on their schedules. Officials are prepared to “adjust if necessary," he said.

“We constantly adjust bus routes throughout the year to smooth out our routes and this year is no exception,” Title assured.

A long-term solution for Tomlinson, the school facing the worst traffic problems, is to fix the lower-level parking lot so there is more room for parents who find it necessary to pick up and drop off their children. The town’s engineer Bill Hurley, police and education officials are working together to come up with a redesign plan, Title said.

Until that happens, Title’s advice persists: If a bus comes down your street, get your kids on it.

No bus? “We encourage those within walking distance to walk,” Title said.

pmihaylo October 05, 2011 at 02:11 AM
I walked to TMS in the 70's, but TMS was my neighborhood school. Have you looked at the map of where the feeder schools to TMS are? Look at the map on page 2 located here - http://www.fairfieldschools.org/downloads/trans/districtMaps_8-16-2011.pdf - and tell me if those brown areas are walking distance to TMS?
Jim Eastwood October 05, 2011 at 10:11 AM
Good Morning Fairfield Oh the on going battle !!!! First I am Not screaming at you RP Second a Soccar Mom is a Mom who inspite of buses provided INSISTS on Driving her 1.5 kids to school Not Car Pooling and driving her 6000 Pound SUV getting 8-10 MPG (Which also takes up the space of 1.5 Normal cars)---Then Complains about Global Warming and the price of Gas. THIRD Today is National WALK TO SCHOOL DAY !!!!!!!! Try It !!~! Have a Great Day And remember you put these POOR Managers in Place
DSS October 05, 2011 at 12:41 PM
I guess Jim and Fairfield Resident cannot grasp the concept here. Traveling 2-3 miles on a bus for an hour is unacceptable. Children have homework and activities after school. It would be fantastic if my kids could walk to school. I did it and I loved it. Walking to school would be a great healthy alternative but walking across town is not an option and the bus situation is horrible. As far as car pooling goes that is exactly what we do almost everyday with 3-4 kids in a car but that still doesn't alleviate the traffic situation. The real solution here is a better bus routes and some tweaking to the school districts. The kids will spend enough time commuting when they are adults there is no need now for a child to be on a bus 2 hours a day.
Fairfield Resident October 05, 2011 at 03:57 PM
Dear DSS: Why is it any different now, in 2011, that children can't ride an hour on a school bus to get to school when we did it in the 70's etc.?? It was no big deal then. Why now?
Just One Teacher October 20, 2011 at 09:07 PM
How ironic that this article come up. It takes me about ten minutes some mornings just go that last half mile into the parking lot because of all the congestion. Yesterday I was right behind a bus. I remember following buses not all that long ago where the back windows would be full of kids making funny faces at me or trying to get me to honk my horn. I didn't see a single student. It made me think. I asked some of my students how many kids there were on their bus (when they used to actually ride it) and they told me that there weren't many. Parents certainly do have the right to drive their kids in, but why then is the town spending so much money paying for the service? You would think that if anyone in charge was serious about cutting waste in the budget then they would come up with better transportation plans than what we have.

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