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Peter Drive residents seek ban on school buses

According to Tunny, a few years ago, a number of drivers approached him asking if they could use Peter Drive as a through street.

"I honestly could not find anything that prohibited me from letting them do it," said Tunny, who contacted Village of Colonie Mayor Frank Leak and asked if the drivers could use Peter Drive.

"Frank Leak said he couldn't think of anything that prevented us from using it," said Tunny.

While the safety and speeding were Burnside's main concerns, he said he was also uneasy about the number of buses that were using the street. Over the course of a few days, he said he counted 15 buses using the street each morning and evening.

Several other Peter Drive residents spoke out at the Jan. 13 meeting, describing concerns similar to Burnside's.

One resident told of an accident she was involved in where, on a different S-curve, a bus was unable to stay in its lane and she felt the only thing to do was swerve out of the way, hitting another vehicle.

District officials met on Peter Drive Wednesday, Jan. 21, to see first-hand what the residents of Peter Drive were dealing with.

Tunny said he had only counted seven buses that used the street, and with 82 buses leaving the bus garage on a daily basis, "that means the majority are not using Peter Drive."

Superintendent of Schools Jonathan Buhner observed the buses on Peter Drive that morning as well.

"I think, from my observation, they were doing fine," he said. "I think they were concerned about the degree of the curve. I don't know what the village can do [though]. It's not like they can straighten the road."

Buhner said he did not see the buses speeding that day, but that, "We certainly can look at our buses and keeping their speed at a minimum and trying to be aware of all safety concerns that [the residents] have raised."

Before Burnside raised his concerns at the Jan. 13 meeting, Tunny described plans to re-evaluate the district's routing system in the most cost-efficient way. This could mean routing the buses away from Peter Drive.

Tunny said the board will continue to look into the concerns of the Peter Drive residents.

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