Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

St. Johns School Bus Stop to Stay on A1A

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

St. Johns School Bus Stop to Stay on A1A

Article excerpt

PONTE VEDRA BEACH -- Mary Beth Pennington says the bus stop

along Florida A1A where her 10-year-old son waits for his ride to

school is dangerous and should be moved.

But St. Johns County School Superintendent Hugh Balboni, while

agreeing the stop is a concern, decided not to move it from the

east side of A1A just south of the Butler Boulevard interchange.

Balboni's decision came after reviewing an engineer's report

that said the alternative would be even more dangerous.

The report, prepared by Prosser, Hallock & Kristoff Inc., said

having the bus stop on a cul-de-sac off A1A, away from the main

road, would create more of a hazard.

Balboni sought the engineer's recommendation after a parent's

plea at a School Board meeting and letters from other parents

who asked that the bus stop for children of Ponte Vedra-Palm

Valley Elementary School be relocated. The bus stop is at the

start of a ramp that takes traffic onto the recently completed

interchange at the A1A-Butler intersection.

"What triggered this was the change in traffic flow [from the

opening of the new interchange]," Balboni said. "Traffic gets

funneled right into that right lane."

Northbound traffic is required to stop for the bus when it is

picking up or unloading children. But if the bus were to turn

off the main road, board children in the cul-de-sac and then try

to merge back onto A1A, the driver would have to wait for a gap

in the through traffic.

The report said the average speed of drivers on Florida A1A is

50 mph in the morning and it would be an "unusually long wait"

to find a gap in traffic long enough to allow the bus to pull

onto the roadway. Balboni has visited the bus stop and said he

noticed few breaks in traffic.

But Pennington said the report justifies her concerns about the

stop. …

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