St. Albert Catholic board rejects parents' call to move 'unsafe' bus stop

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St. Albert Catholic board rejects parents' call to move 'unsafe' bus stop

St. Albert Catholic board rejects parents' call to move 'unsafe' bus stop

Parents of two St. Albert children aren't backing down after the Catholic school board rejected their call to move a bus stop they say is unsafe.

Ryan Catena, whose 5-year-old daughter boards the bus every day on Old Coal Mine Road, said the safety concerns are mainly due to high-speed and heavy traffic, compounded by trucks stopping at a water station across the street. The location isn't well lit or marked, he said.

"This is a very unsafe location and the bus should be entering the development to pick up the children," said Catena.

He said the children should instead be picked up at the nearby entrance to their development, which the bus already passes.

Several of those concerns were highlighted in a recent report ordered by a Sturgeon County councillor and conducted by a peace officer.

The report noted there were no nearby streetlights and the stop lacked signs to notify drivers.

The "roadway is not flat and visibility is a concern," the report said. "Water trucks turning east after obtaining water pull within inches of the bus stop" to turn around.

"I wasn't surprised at all because it just went on to emphasize all the concerns that I brought forth," Catena said of the report.

What did surprise Catena was the response by Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools.

The board completed its own reviews, which included input from "two independent outside experts that conduct safety reviews" and reached a different conclusion, secretary treasurer Deb Schlag said in an email.

"Based on the reviews, the location on Coal Mine Rd. is deemed to be a safe spot for children to board the bus," Schlag said.

Schlag said Ryan can appeal the decision to the board superintendent.

But Ryan said he doesn't see the point in appealing to a board official who was involved in the initial decision.

He said he will contact provincial officials in the hopes they'll be more receptive to his concerns.