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Children entering school bus

Source: VisionsofAmerica/Joe Sohm / Getty

The Afternoons with Amos PODCAST For Thursday, November 5, 2015. (Intense Discussion of Problems With IPS School Buses Starts At 1:42 Mark On PODCAST Media Player). A new controversy has erupted in the Indianapolis Public Schools. This time is its not in the classroom but involves the buses that transports thousands of students every school day.  On Wednesday, November 4th, Indiana State Police inspected 33 IPS buses that were at least 12 years old or older. State law requires those buses to be inspected every six months. Of 33 buses inspected, 57% or 19 were found to have violated one or more state school bus safety standards.  Some of the standards were so severe that 11 buses were ordered to immediately be taken out of service until repairs were made. In a statement sent to some but not all Indianapolis news media, IPS Director Transportation Monica Coburn tried to question the accuracy of State Police inspections and inspectors.

School buses

Source: Comstock / Getty

On Afternoons with Amos, several current and former IPS bus drivers leveled severe charges against the current management of IPS’ school bus fleet.  Charges of a lack of qualified mechanics were raised.  Several strongly questioned the competence of the managers of IPS’ transportation department; managers who’ve been with IPS in just the past couple of years.  Part of the school bus drivers concern is rampant confusion of IPS’ transportation policies.  Drivers who called into Afternoons with Amos charged that the district isn’t investing in new school buses and had deferred needed maintenance. Drivers also charged that IPS seems to be reducing routes handled by longtime IPS employee bus drivers and turning over more work to its contract transportation partner Durham Bus Services. Both IPS and Durham drivers are union members but there’s tension between the two groups of employees. During the show, Afternoons with Amos examined the Indiana State Police School Bus Safety database which provides the public with stats on school bus safety for many school districts and schools, public and private, in the state.

School Bus

Source: Shaun Lowe / Getty

According to the database, during the last yearly State Police inspection, only 50% of IPS’ school buses passed their inspections. Another 29% were cited for minor violations and a stunning 20% of IPS’ buses had violations so serious they were immediately taken out of service for repairs.  The 50% passed inspection rate was the lowest of any Indianapolis/Marion County school district.  The other districts’ passing rate for school buses ranged from the mid-70% to 95%. Click the Link To See The State Police Database On School Bus Safety. See The Data For Yourself.  INDIANA STATE POLICE SCHOOL BUS INSPECTION DATABASE

new pennsylvania st bike lanes

Bike Lane (R) Then Buffer Zone Then Parking Lane On Pennsylvania Street

(Commentary On New, Bizarre Bike Lane Downtown Starts At 1:09:29 Mark On PODCAST Media Player). The spread of bike lanes in Indianapolis while great for bicyclists has been frustrating for drivers and many residents. There seem to be different type of bike lanes in various neighborhoods, lack of consistency and confusing designs. The latest design, a first for Indy, is downtown on Pennsylvania Street between St. Clair and Washington Streets.  In involves making the right curb lane on the one way southbound street an exclusive bike lane.  Then creating a small buffer lane and then taking a driving lane and turning it into a parking lane for cars and delivery trucks. Adding to the confusing are striped sections which marks loading zones for deliveries.

new pennsylvania st bike lanes

Car Parked At Curb Where Dedicated Bike Lane Will Open Next Week

The city didn’t announce in advance that the newly repaved Pennsylvania Street would have this unusual bike lane system which the City calls a “protected bike lane” patterned after ones in Chicago, New York, Minneapolis and Louisville. Markers will be placed in the street to mark the separation between the bike lane and the mid street parking. But its unknown if those markers are remo6ble during the many parades that go down Pennsylvania Street during the year. Beginning with next Wednesday’s Veterans Day Parade.

monumental marathon

Monumental Marathon Starting Line

(Interview With Blake Bolton Of Monumental Marathon Starts At 55:29 Mark On Media Player). Blake Bolton of the Monumental Marathon stopped by to update the community about the event which has attracted over 17,000 runners for this Saturday.  Blake also walked the community through the street closings and delays in the Broad Ripple, Meridian-Kessler, Butler-Tarkington, Mapleton-Fall Creek, Riverside, UNWA, Downtown, Mass Avenue, Fall Creek Place and the neighborhood south of the Fairgrounds this Saturday from about 8am until 1pm. Bolton also wants the community while considering the inconvenience they they understand that proceeds from the Marathon goes to support the IPS Educational Foundation. The Monumental Marathon is the largest donor for the Foundation.  

 

 

 

The Afternoons with Amos PODCAST For Thursday, November 5, 2015 Runs 96 Minutes ©2015 WTLC/Radio One.  PODCAST Starts After Brief Video Ad. 

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