Over the past several months, neighbors in a subdivision next to Long Elementary School have been fighting to convince the school district to reconsider the proposed traffic plan associated with its 4.6-acre expansion. Doercrest residents believe that routing outgoing buses through their neighborhood will cause safety issues.
The following letter was sent to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary School Education (DESE), St. Louis County Councilman Colleen Wasinger, Councilman Pat Dolan and St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley.
Ruzicka adds with a post on Patch on Wednesday, "A source close to the planning approval process has reported 'a high possibility of significant revision to the design/plans is expected to address your concern as well as others in the subdivision.'" The issue has also caught the attention of a Crestwood alderman, according to Call Newspapers.
To whom it may concern,
I am writing to you on behalf of concerned citizens who have repeatedly voiced opposition over a proposed traffic plan which routes all bus traffic through a residential neighborhood in an effort to ease congestion on school property. This subject is particularly difficult since it involves the Lindbergh School District which your most recent appointment Vic Lenz has previously served.
We, the concerned residents of Doercrest Manor subdivision are in full support of the expansion and redevelopment of Long elementary School. We stand in firm opposition to any traffic plan which utilizes Doercrest Drive for vehicular traffic. This has always been our position and this position is rooted in the safety and welfare of all involved (students, pedestrians, residents as well as vehicular traffic at the intersection in question (Eddie & Park and Doercrest Drive in Crestwood, MO).
Our opposition has followed the path which one would expect some kind of resolution; letters to school board members as well presentations to the school board. In addition we present approximately 150 signatures in “support of the expansion plan but in opposition to the traffic plan” to the school board earlier this year. Despite all our efforts the Lindbergh School District has continued to move forward with their planned expansion and traffic plan.
The Crestwood Planning and Zoning commission (a recommending body with no approval authority within the City of Crestwood) provided constructive feedback and suggestions earlier this year to the school district. They have not responded to any of the feedback and continue forward with their original plan.
In April school board members were sent an e-mail correspondence which questioned the stopping distance on Eddie & Park as drivers approach the intersection of Doercrest Drive (the proposed bus route of all buses existing Long Elementary School). It would seem that the district has never fully investigated this issue nor has the school district ever responded to the e-mail raising the concern. As we pointed out to the Lindbergh Board of Education earlier this year, they are responsible for the safety and welfare of the students beyond school property. Missouri statute holds school boards responsible for the bus routes which they approve.
This is not the first time that the Lindbergh School District has been advised against the routing of bus traffic through a residential street (Roxanna Drive in 2007 (as described in Lindbergh School Board minutes from June of 2007) while Mr. Lenz served the Lindbergh School District. Further, the recently reversal of the Affton School District plans to implement a similar traffic pattern draws raises even more questions as to why the Lindbergh School District continues with this traffic plan.
We are running out of options other than legal action on the part of citizens (the very property owners and tax payers who support the district). We respectfully ask that you step in and investigate our concerns over Lindbergh’s proposed bus route. Again, we are in full support of the expansion and development of Long Elementary School but stand in firm opposition to the proposed traffic plan out of concerns for safety of all involved.
On behalf of concerned Doercrest residents