Charleston County parents advocate for bus rider safety on Woodland Shores Rd.

Published: Aug. 25, 2023 at 7:23 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 26, 2023 at 10:56 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - As the first week of school comes to an end in the Charleston County School District, parents are advocating for bus riding safety.

Parents say they are worried the lack of a sidewalk, deep ditches and reckless driving patterns in the area are what keeps them up at night.

One parent tells me he’s seen some of the schoolkids walk a handful of houses to get to and from their stops.

“Not making exceptions for kids who want to be picked up in front of their homes,” Woodland Shores Neighbor Adam Friend said. “That’s causing kids to have to walk to these bus stops along a road that offers no sidewalks.”

Just over two months ago, a young woman was seriously hurt in a hit-and-run on the road, and she’s still actively recovering.

The incident has sparked conversation for better safety measures between neighbors who live on the busy neighborhood street.

“It is scary,” Woodland Shores Homeowner Ashley Riser said. “You’re hopping ditches, moving in and out of people’s yards. Hoping people will move over, will see you.”

According to officials and a recently created neighborhood coalition, there is talk of building a sidewalk along the other side of the road, but it could take some time to finish.

The school district says they currently have five separate stops assigned to the road, which extends from Maybank Highway, across Riverland Drive and ends near the Stono River.

In total, that means around 30 kids are impacted by these bus-riding patterns.

The Charleston County School District released the following statement regarding school bus safety:

Our transportation staff spoke with the parent and we respect his concerns for safety in the Woodland Shores Road area. The security of our students and drivers guides how CCSD determines the location of bus stops. The district goes above and beyond the legal requirements for establishing bus stops. However, we must also consider the number of stops on a route to allow us to deliver students safely and promptly to their schools and back home. We have five bus stops in that area of Woodland Shores Road, serving four combined schools.

A few parents say they have requested their child be picked up from their own homes and have been successful, but it’s not a final solution unless everyone can feel safe.

“It’s our responsibility to treat everyone the same,” Friend said. Exceptions are nice, but the totality is who needs to be looked at, not just your individual situation.”