Project Safe Schools


School bus student drop-off location worries parents

School bus student safety concerns
Posted at 9:57 PM, Apr 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-20 23:57:47-04

TULSA, Okla. — Some Tulsa Public Schools parents said they have reason to be worried for their child's safety. A school bus drop-off location changed for some TPS and charter school students, and parents said it is only a matter of time before there is an accident.

"Sooner or later somebody is going to get hit," Bob Merkov, Tulsa Honor Academy grandparent, said. "Some kid."

Merkov has dropped his grandchildren off every morning and picked them up every afternoon at an empty parking lot at Eastgate Metroplex for 10 years. Now, the school bus stop has changed along with the old Eastland Mall.

"Why? I mean, this mall is empty," Merkov said. "There's absolutely nothing here. There hasn't been for years."

Owners of the Eastgate Metroplex asked TPS Transportation to no longer use the old mall's empty southwest lot. Instead, the school buses now park and drop off students from 137th E

"The high traffic racetrack," Merkov said. "The cars just race around them."

An Eastgate Metroplex managment spokesperson told 2 Works for You the change was made with the students' safety in mind. The full statement reads:

In the past years, the ownership of Eastgate Metroplex has allowed the Tulsa Public Schools to use the southwest corner of the parking lot as a bus stop location while the property was being developed. As the property leased up and traffic in the parking lot increased substantially, the Ownership became concerned for the safety of the children with the increased vehicular activity. At the end of the 2020 school year, the Ownership requested that the TPS Transportation Department discontinue using the parking lot as a bus stop due to safety concerns for the children. The Ownership is always happy to have an opportunity to serve the community when deemed safe and recently allowed the Veteran’s Administration to use an area of the parking lot for a mobile COVID vaccination clinic.
Carolyn Neal, Eastgate Metroplex Property Manager

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