Bus stop controversy in Craven County boils over

Bus stop controversy in Craven County boils over

CRAVEN COUNTY - Parents in the Fairfield Harbour community are fed up with a recent restriction they are facing at their children's bus stop.

This restriction was influenced by the Fairfield Harbour's Property Owners Association. The association has partnered with the Department of Transportation to put up no standing or parking signs at a community bus stop.

The association says they want the bus stop to be moved to a different location because they are concerned for kids safety. The association doesn't have the legal authority to move the bus stop, and parents say the signs are an indirect way of trying to force the move.

According to the association's public relations office, the street where the bus stop is located-- Broad Creek and Marina--has almost been the site of dangerous outcomes. Community officials say children have been playing near the streets while waiting for their buses, causing potential risk to drivers. However, parents and the school system deny this claim.

Craven County Schools said they did consider changing the bus stop, but after speaking with parents and road officials, decided it was best to keep the stop where it is-- despite the association's concerns.

This led the association to partner with the Department of Transportation to put up signs so that no person is allowed to stand or park along the street where the bus stop is. The association maintains this was done as a safety precaution.

However, this recent restriction is causing headaches for parents. The signs were posted in early May, and since, community security guards have been patrolling the street to make sure people are abiding by the signs. Parents say they are caught in a tight spot, because the signs are posted where their children are getting off the bus. Parents say they have to pick up their kids.

On Tuesday, one parent was even arrested, after he says he was standing near one of the signs when his child was getting off the bus. After the parent exchanged words with the security guard, he was charged with disorderly conduct. 

The standoff between parents and the association is ongoing. A state trooper and Craven County Deputies were asked to go out and monitor the bus stop this week to make sure things didn't continue to escalate, and to make sure kids got off the bus to their parents safely.

School ends in about a week -- and although the problem will die down over the summer, parents say when school starts back up and the buses start coming again, the problem will resurface.

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