Plan to park buses on Bala Avenue angers Bala Cynwyd residents

Posted: June 13, 2014

The Lower Merion School District's plan to create a school bus parking lot on Bala Avenue in Bala Cynwyd has some residents steaming.

More than 100 people filled Lower Merion Academy, a historic house next to Bala Cynwyd Middle School, on Tuesday for a meeting of the Neighborhood Club of Bala Cynwyd.

Doug Young, the school district's director of community relations, knew what was coming. So township commissioners in attendance told the crowd to save the pitchforks for the district's elected officials, who were at Harriton High School's graduation.

Then Young and Victor Orlando, the district's business manager, said that spaces for 30 buses must be added as Lower Merion High School expands, and that a real estate broker proposed the Bala Avenue spot.

Two businesses occupy the property, near a playground and a neighborhood. The business owners received letters of intent, which said the district would not waive its right to eminent domain.

Orlando and Young said the district has no intention to use that right. Then the crowd called for "Eddie" - Edward Herskovitz, owner of Main Line Auto Center and a letter recipient. Herskovitz said he wanted that promise in writing.

The new lot would not be for refueling and maintenance, Young said, and the beeping of buses backing in would occur only in the afternoon.

"We realize there isn't a big crowd that's going to come out and throw pom-poms around for bus parking," Young said.

No one brought pom-poms.

Instead, residents raised voices and wagged fingers. At one point, a few chanted "Rock Hill Road," a site some in the crowd proposed.

No district meetings on the issue are scheduled, but Young and Orlando said they would relay the concerns to school officials.



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