DOT, Wake Schools don't coordinate to clear routes

February 4, 2010 8:59:52 AM PST
Nearly a week after a winter storm shut down most travel on area roads, thousands of students returned to school Thursday.

The time it took to clear roads have many people wanting answers. Many understood cancelling school Monday and Tuesday due to the weekend winter storm that dropped up to five inches of snow in some parts of Wake County.

But on the third day of missed school in Wake County, parents began to express concern and dissatisfaction about what seemed to be a lack of coordination to clear snow and ice off of secondary roads.

ABC11 Eyewitness News wondered if the DOT and city crews were communicating with the school system about what roads needed clearing. It turns out they did not communicate.

A frustrated Judy Nutt kept her grandchildren this week while they were out of school.

"They could have had a delayed opening, I feel," she said. "And those kids could have gone to school."

But school wasn't delayed because many subdivisions still have snow or ice and school buses couldn't get to their stops.

ABC11 learned Wake School doesn't coordinate with DOT or city crews to make sure bus routes get cleared. School and state officials said they doubt coordination would do much good.

"We have 45-hundred bus runs a day that total more than 83,000 miles in Wake County alone, so I'd be hard pressed to tell you a road that we don't touch," said Michael Evans, Wake County school system.

The DOT said it doesn't know how it could coordinate the cleanup of so many routes.

"I don't know how we could coordinate with bus routes when every single road we have, state and city, is a bus route," Division 5 DOT Engineer Wally Bowman told ABC11.

The DOT's policy is to cover the biggest roads first and the smallest roads last. That means subdivisions have to wait every time.

In the Wake school system, the general policy is if it's a snow day for one school, it's a snow day for all schools.

That's something the new school board is reviewing and is considering changing.

Send pictures | Classifieds | Report A Typo |  Send Tip |  Get Alerts
Most Popular  |  Follow abc11 on Twitter  |  abc11 on Facebook


Load Comments