Fewer kids on school buses translates into more traffic in Moncton neighbourhood
MONCTON, N.B. -- An increase in traffic is always a sure sign that students are back in school, but residents in one Moncton neighbourhood say delays this year are the worst they've ever seen.
It was brake lights and bumper to bumper traffic on Friday morning at the Ryan Road Roundabout in Moncton's north end.
"I've tried multiple routes to try and avoid that traffic to get to Riverview, but there's just no alternate route to avoid it," said north end resident Meahan Macpherson. "So you can't go around it you've got to go through it."
The neighbourhood is now home to four different schools and with COVID-19 limiting the number of kids allowed on each bus, many parents chose to do the morning drop off themselves.
"We did anticipate this year would be worse than years in the past, just because of the number of parents who chose to drive their children," said Gregg Ingersoll, the superintendent for Anglophone East School District.
Ingersoll says about 1,300 parents opted out of bussing their kids in August, but now, more than 400 of them want that decision reversed.
"We're getting anywhere from 10 to 15 or 20 a day that are contacting us saying that they now want to put their children back on the school bus," Ingersoll said.
MacPherson hopes that change comes sooner rather than later.
Thanks to the new daily traffic jam, his morning commute has more than doubled.
"It used to take 12 minutes to get to work before school started," MacPherson said. "First day of school it was half an hour, and it's been half an hour ever since."
Ryan Weagle's son attends Ecole le Sommet. For now, he walks to school every day, but Weagle worries what will happen when the weather changes.
"Traffic runs slower naturally when the inclement weather is here," Weagle said. "And then you've got additional children being transported to school by their parents in their cars, so yeah, there's going to be days when it's havoc on the roads."
The district says more buses can be added to try and offset some of the congestion, but they're waiting to see if traffic dies down before making that call.