Alleviating traffic concerns was the reasoning behind a move by the McPherson school board Monday night to repeal a ban on bus drivers driving on Hartup Street by McPherson Middle School.
Currently, buses unload behind the middle school on Hancock Street.
“Since they cannot turn onto Hartup, they have to go west on Hancock and sometimes they have to go on Elizabeth,” USD 418 Superintendent Mark Crawford said. “There's been multiple accidents on Hancock on this section of the road, mainly because there's parking allowed on both sides.”
The bus ban on Hartup was put into place several years ago after an incident in which a bus traveling down the street forced an oncoming truck to have to swerve into a neighboring yard to avoid the bus. The ban made it a terminable offense for a bus driver to use Hartup by the middle school.
Crawford pointed out, though, that was before traffic patterns had been altered around the school to make Elizabeth one-way, as well as changing some parking areas. He said Hartup is better equipped to deal with bus traffic, even if there is teacher parking along the east side.
“The only problem with that not being passable by two large vehicles is if you had an extra-long truck with its rear-end sticking out [from a parking space],” Crawford said. “Otherwise, it's double the width of Hancock and Elizabeth.”
The board approved the motion to rescind the ban on Hartup 6-0. Anne Hassler Heidel was not present at Monday's board meeting.