Traffic around TOPS@Seward School appeared to be busier than usual this morning as parents who live outside the school’s transportation zone drove their children to school to protest potential bus cuts.
At one point, northbound traffic on Boylston was backed up from Louisa to Lynn as buses and parents tried to make a left onto Louisa to drop off children. Annoyed drivers on Boylston could be heard honking their horns and at least one bus driver yelled at a driver he felt was holding up entrance to Louisa, which is the bus drop-off zone.
Parents of children who live outside the Washington Middle School transportation zone, which covers TOPS, had been asked to drive their children to school today to demonstrate what might happen if bus service outside that zone is dropped. The Seattle Public Schools have proposed eliminating bus service beyond the Washington Middle School transportation zone as way to save money.
Parents at the school say the cuts could impact the school’s diversity by making it harder for children who live outside the TOPS’ transportation zone to attend. They also say they are concerned about the traffic impact in Eastlake if parents of those students had to drive their children to school every day.
One parent, Ginger Segel, said she usually drives her children to school on Fridays. She thought today’s traffic was busier than usual. She said she usually never has to wait to get onto Louisa to drop her kids.
Lucy Kee, who lives near Green Lake, dropped two children off. She said there are usually two or three cars waiting on Boylston to turn onto Louisa but she had never seen traffic backed up to Lynn.
“My concern,” she said, “is that there’s no drop off zone here.”
Wayne Duncan, another parent, said that the school district had implied there would always be transportation for TOPS students but “that promise is being taken away.”
Parent Sheila Anderson said the TOPS parents will be reporting to the school board on how this morning’s event went and will be engaging the board in a discussion about continuing the bus service.