Wichita Bus Battle Goes To Court

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Tuesday, May 16, 2011

A battle over where to park hundreds of Wichita school buses is now in district court.

First Student has leased a parking lot from Price Transportation at 37th Street North and Seneca. Neighbors have been fighting the plan saying the 300 or so buses lined up on their dead end street everyday is a safety hazard and dangerous.

The city zoning board ruled the parking lot is zoned properly, but an appeal board ruled the buses cannot be parked in one spot for more than 72 hours. That would mean over long weekends or holiday breaks, the drivers would have to come and move the buses. So Price Transportation filed a lawsuit against the board of zoning appeals.

Today both sides argued in court over the 72 hour issue. Price said First Student is in the business of transporting students, not in the storage business. It says moving the buses over long weekends or holidays would create even more problems for neighbors.

The City of Wichita argued that has nothing to do with this issue. City Attorneys said zoning allows for parking in that lot, not storage, and more than 72 hours of sitting in the lot makes it a storage lot. The attorney says that's not what the lot is zoned for.

Neighbors hope the 72 hour rule stays in effect so the bus company will be deterred and move all together.

The judge says he will make a ruling on the 72 hour issue in about 2 weeks.

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