Special needs kids are jostled on way to PP school

Special needs kids are jostled on way to PP school
A look at the facility from Wickham Avenue
Community News Group/ Alex Mitchell

Buses carrying those with special needs have been charged with driving dangerously near Pelham Parkway, according to neighbors.

Contracted bus drivers for ADAPT Community Network, the organization that recently acquired UCP, are accused by neighbors of reckless behavior.

These neighbors have witnessed the alleged dangerous driving with both children and adults of special needs onboard.

Some of the dangerous driving reported includes: speeding, running through stop signs, and not taking turns or road inclines in a safe manner.

Rosemarie Baranin has lived on Wickham Avenue adjacent to the facility for over 40 years. She’s seen busses coming in and out of the Stillwell center, driving dangerously for most of time she has spent living on the block.

“They run stop signs and speed down my street with special needs passengers onboard,” said Baranin. “When the buses pass by my house I’ve seen the children bouncng up from their seats,” she added.

Baranin explained that when United Cerebral Palsy moved into her neighborhood years ago, there was an agreement made for the facility’s buses to avoid using residential streets, only entering and exiting through Stillwell Avenue.

She has seen firsthand that this agreement is no longer being honored.

“There are no UCP clients on my street, the buses have no business coming down it but they do anyway,” Baranin said. “My neighbors have little children that are in danger,” she added.

Since the facility’s opening years ago, the problem of these buses and their reckless driving has been ongoing.

“It comes in waves, I’ve made contact with them multiple times and for a while it would stop and then pick up once again,” said Baranin

Baranin’s neighbors had delegated her as their spokesperson to call attention to the repetitious issue at hand.

She’s come out of her home with a clipboard to record the information of the delinquent drivers previously.

One driver that was confronted mouthed off to the concerned resident.

“He told me “who do you think you are to tell me how to drive?” to which I said who are you to drive like this in my neighborhood?” said Baranin. “This isn’t my job to monitor the buses, this is ridiculous,” she added.

Baranin has contacted the bus companies and United Cerebral Palsy throughout the years this problem has been going on.

When you speak to them you might as well be speaking to the wall she, as she descibed her frustation.

She also called attention to the traffic issue in her area near Pelham Parkway and the Hutchinson River Parkway, mentioning that buses clogging up residential streets is one of the last things that the area needs.

“I’m not looking to cause trouble here, I just want to stand up and use my voice for those that don’t have one, such as the special needs children on these buses,” Baranin said.

The Bronx Times Reporter contacted ADAPT Community Network but did not receive a response by press time.

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