By Tony Dondero For The Herald
EDMONDS — Shannon Bjornson has a problem.
The Edmonds School District won’t be providing bus service to most students at Martha Lake Elementary on Larch Way, where her twin 8-year-old sons Connor and Ian go to school.
More than $10 million was cut out of the district budget which will be finalized in August, and one major cut was $500,000 to transport kids who live within a one-mile radius of the schools.
Bjornson, who lives near Larch Way and 11th Avenue W. in unincorporated Snohomish County, is concerned about the safety of her kids walking to school with vehicles speeding by.
“It’s just not safe,” Bjornson said.
“It’s a 25 (mph speed limit) down there but nobody does 25 down there,” said parent Shane Hazard, who also lives nearby.
Another busy street is 13th Avenue W., which is northwest of the school and has no sidewalk.
“I walk my dog down here and it scares me sometimes, and I’m an adult,” said Hazard.
Many families who live in the neighborhood and send their kids to Martha Lake also have two parents who work.
Bjornson and Hazard work in downtown Seattle, Bjornson as a paralegal and Hazard as a sales associate for Aflac, and their spouses work as well.
Hazard said he’ll be dropping his 8-year-old son Ryaen off at the Alderwood Boys &Girls Club in the morning at 8 before he goes to work. His son will take a van from the club to school, but it will cost him more than $200 extra a month.
“That’s going to be the big piece to add before-school care four days a week,” Hazard said.
Bjornson and her boys have practiced walking to school, which she feels is a better option than driving them.
“I’ve dropped kids off at 10 to 9 (a.m.) but there’s no adults out there,” Bjornson said.
Martha Lake isn’t the only school in the district to lose its bus service.
Other students, such as those Cedar Valley Community School, which is on 56th Avenue W. off 196th Street SW in Lynnwood, will also have to find alternative ways to get to school because they live within a one-mile radius of their respective schools.