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Families concerned after school bus stop moved to highway

By Joshua Skinner

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    ACWORTH, Georgia (WANF) — The side of a highway doesn’t seem to be the best spot to have a school bus stop.

“Right here,” Katina de Leon said, pointing to a corner near the Fairway Villas neighborhood. “In the corner right here.”

It’s the spot where parents like de Leon, mother of four, are supposed to drop their kids off.

“This was horrible,” she said. “We had traffic from here all the way to Third Army Road.”

Cell video given to Atlanta News First confirms de Leon’s statements. Video from a recent morning pickup shows traffic backed up on Cobb Parkway due to the bus stop. The speed limit in this area is 55 miles per hour.

“I’d rather drive my kids to school than pick up and drop off here,” James Tippens said.

Tippens says 55 is more of a suggestion. On cue, an 18-wheeler goes flying by.

“Basically like that,” he said. “Truck going down the road with a broken tire.”

De Leon’s concern isn’t just the traffic. Another problem is that the stop is far away from any homes.

“Someone can come and just pick up one of our kids,” she said. That’s my biggest fear.”

Both de Leon and Tippens say the bus used to make multiple stops inside Fairway Villas, but that was changed when road conditions in the neighborhood deteriorated.

“Because the roads are breaking apart, they made the front of the entrance as the bus stop,” Tippens said.

But lately, residents say property management has been putting caution tape and personal vehicles around that location, making it so the bus can’t get in.

“I’m concerned, irritated, and frustrated,” Tippens said.

Nobody could explain why this was happening.

In a statement to parents, the Cobb County School District said it’s tried to contact neighborhood management to solve the problem, but haven’t had their calls returned.

In the meantime, it has parents rethinking logistics.

“No, I didn’t send [my kids to school] today,” de Leon said.

“I’m actually planning on moving because I don’t want to deal with this at all,” Tippens added.

And hoping that property management can work with residents and the school district… to find a proper solution.

Parents are also concerned about what happens when fall and winter arrive, and pickup takes place in the dark.

“This is not a safe place,” de Leon said.

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