Too close for com­fort

Car­bon­ear cou­ple at wit’s end over school bus park­ing

The Compass - - TRINITY SOUTH -

good for you,” he said.

Zero tol­er­ance

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.

Com­pro­mise

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.

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