No change to Legacy Farms bus stop

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After weeks of discussion on moving a bus stop at the intersection of Legacy Farms North and Frankland Road to a different location, the bus stop will remain where it is.

Approximately 70 students gather each morning to board a bus to one of the Hopkinton Public Schools from the Legacy Farms North/Frankland Road stop. The gathering of that many students and parents (with and without cars), has created traffic and safety issues, causing several residents to approach the Select Board for a solution.

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While Legacy Farms continues to add homes and families, the main road through the north side of the development remains a private way, so buses are not able to drive down and pick up students in the development.

Over the summer, the Planning Board had entertained a suggestion that would encourage the town to accept Legacy Farms Road North as a public road with conditions, with the goal of eliminating traffic and safety issues related to school bus pickup and drop-off.

DPW director John Westerling appeared at the Aug. 14 Planning Board meeting and expressed his concerns with taking the road while the development remains a work in progress.

“That is a highly unusual suggestion,” Westerling responded at the meeting. “My initial reaction is that it would not be in the best interests of the town. There are too many elements of the construction that have yet to be completed.”

Legacy Farms developer Roy MacDowell also appeared at the August meeting and stated that the road could be paved by his company in a matter of four or five days should the town decide to accept it. He added that he was looking at other options to solve the problem, including employing a shuttle to take children from their homes to the bus stop.

School and town officials met at the location of the bus stop at the beginning of the school year, trying to come up with a safe solution that would meet with the residents’ approval.

During an Aug. 29 School Committee meeting, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Carol Cavanaugh told the committee that she, town officials and the developer were proposing to change the bus stop from the intersection of Legacy Farms North/Frankland to the intersection of Legacy Farm North and Route 135.

Several Legacy Farm residents turned out for the meeting to voice their concerns over the proposed change, stating that the new location would not be safe for students, especially during the winter months when snow and ice would be a factor.

Cavanaugh thanked them for their feedback and informed the committee that the district planned to send out a survey asking parents in Legacy Farms if they would like to change the bus stop or keep it where it is for the time being.

Cavanaugh presented the results of the survey during the Sept. 19 School Committee meeting, stating that a “resounding” 92 percent of parents (of the 70 that responded to the survey) voted to keep the bus stop where it is currently located.