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DL school district revamping bus routes

The Detroit Lakes School District is revamping its bus routes for safety and efficiency reasons.

Parents of students in the district will receive notification letters next week announcing the new routes and new bus stops.

School buses will no longer stop as close to intersections and therefore will give cars driving around the buses the opportunity to stop for students crossing the street.

"By moving back 100 feet or so, they (drivers) now have a chance to react to those eight-way flashers," said District Supervisor of Operations and Transportation Director Ben Weekley.

The bulk of accidents and injuries generally occur around the buses and right at the bus stops, he added, although none have been reported in the Detroit Lakes area.

However, there have been quite a number of drivers who don't stop for the buses when they turn at those intersections with stop signs on one side and not the other.

A preliminary map, which includes four routes in the morning and afternoon and four for extra curricular activities, has been developed.

But district officials will heavily re-evaluate the map once school starts in September in case some of the bus stops are not used by the students.

"It's been many years since the district has restructured bus routes," Weekley said.

Another safety improvement feature in the revamping project includes eliminating crossing over the Highway 59-Highway 10 overpass and coming back east on Highway 34.

Weekley encourages parents to go out with their children at least the first week of school to make sure everyone is at the right stop.

The letter parents will receive next week will include a list of nearby addresses where the school buses are scheduled to stop.

"Overall, I think it's going to be a good improvement for us," Weekley said.