Too close for comfort
Carbonear couple at wit’s end over school bus parking
good for you,” he said.
Reminding council they had said they would look into other municipal bylaws in other municipalities, Pike said he hadn’t heard anything back from council on that.
From his own research, Pike said he discovered St. John’s and Mount Pearl have zero tolerance policies on the parking of commercial vehicles. They do not allow any commercial vehicles to park in any residential areas of their municipalities.
Carbonear does have a bylaw covering the parking of commercial vehicles in residential areas. However, it does not cover school buses. The regulations passed in 2009 refer to vehicles carrying hazardous materials such as oil delivery trucks.
The school bus parking issue first came to public attention in August when the Pikes told The Compass the noise and exhaust from a bus parked less than 10 feet from their home was making their lives unbearable.
They said the noise from the diesel engine idling in the morning was preventing them from sleeping, and they have to turn off their air exchanger nightly because exhaust from the vehicle circulates through their house.
After hearing both sides of the issue during an earlier privileged meeting, council proposed a compromise, which called for “the bus to leave the driveway within 30 seconds of start-up and not to remain in the driveway idling.”
Town Administrator Cynthia Davis told the Pikes in a letter dated Oct. 4, “the bussing company is being advised that the bus is not to be parked on Park Avenue during the summer months or during the Easter and Christmas vacation period.
“ That’s all well and good,” Pike said, but aded, “a 30-second time frame is unrealistic, especially during the winter months, when it would not be possible to defrost a windshield in that period of time.”
Pointing out it’s 700 metres from the bus driver’s house to Noel’s Bus parking lot, Pike told council he doesn’t understand why the bus company couldn’t have someone pick up the bus driver, Rex Vaters, and drive him up to the bus.
In an earlier interview, Vaters said the Pikes had agreed to let him park the bus in the driveway and he does so because “it’s convenient.”
The bussing company also prefers the arrangement because of the added security of having the vehicle parked in a residential area rather than a parking lot where it could be subject to vandalism.
Describing the Pikes as complainers, Vaters said in August if they didn’t like it, they should move.
While he would consider that if the price was right, Randy Pike asked council: “ Who’s going to buy a house with a big yellow bus parked next to it? There’s no give or take here. This has turned into something it shouldn’t have been.”
He feels council and the bus company should have solved the issue a long time ago.
“I’ve talked to my MP, MHA and you guys till I’m blue in the face and I’m still here talking about this,” Pike told council.
After listening to Pike’s presentation, Mayor Sam Slade said: “I understand your plight and sympathize with you.” He said council planned to discuss the issue further in a privileged meeting.
“Hopefully something will come of it,” Pike said.