By Abigail Cukier
The bus shelter outside of Saltfleet District High School will be removed again following complaints of vandalism, marijuana and cigarette smoking and intimidating behaviour.
The shelter was removed in February for a trial period to determine the impact and gauge public reaction, as per City of Hamilton protocol.
At that time, parents with children at the Today’s Family Children’s Centre, which is in Saltfleet and directly behind the shelter, complained to area councillor Brad Clark, HSR and the city’s tobacco control department.
When it was removed Feb. 24, the glass on the shelter had been smashed.
Parents also complained about “belligerent” students who had thrown snowballs and objects at the daycare supervisor’s office, the baby room and people leaving the daycare, as well as verbally assaulting people leaving the daycare.
Andy McLaughlin, the city’s senior project manager transit planning, said all of the behaviours “calmed down” once the shelter was removed and started again within a week of its return.
“A Hamilton Police Service officer called and said it had created a huge problem again. Kids had resumed hanging out there and had verbal run-ins with people,” McLaughlin said. “The police’s suggestion was to take it down so that policing resources could be put toward other areas in the neighbourhood.”
As of this week, a work order had been placed for it to be removed again.
McLaughlin said the shelter’s location had been seen as ideal because of its proximity to the secondary school and daycare, but he did not want to cause “more trouble than it was worth.”
Staff will perform a city-wide bus shelter review in 2013.
“We might be able to look at getting a shelter in another spot on Highland so people get the benefit of it,” he said.