Skip to Content
Streetsblog Los Angeles home
Streetsblog Los Angeles home
Log In
Streetsblog USA

Watch the Insanity of American School Drop-Off

The double-wide snake of cars in the parking lot didn’t solve the problem. Via David Bruce/YouTube

This video nicely encapsulates how ridiculous American school transportation has become in the era of parental chauffeurs.

It shows an experiment by the North Carolina Department of Transportation to keep school drop-off at Unionville Elementary School -- located in a sprawling, semi-rural area outside Charlotte -- from backing up onto the road that runs by it:

The experimental technique consists of the double lane of cars snaking through the parking lot. That was not enough, however, to keep traffic from spilling over. You can see the queue reach the roadway just before 7 a.m. and spill over onto the highway soon after. Also notice the five or so employees (or volunteers) helping get kids safely from the car door to the school entrance. That whole process takes almost an hour.

David Bruce, who posted the video, says the NCDOT pilot was not deemed successful enough to continue permanently.

According to Bruce, Unionville does have school buses, but many parents think they come too early, so they drop their children off on their way to work. The school draws from a radius of about 15 miles, so not all kids could walk or bike even if it were safe to do so.

From the looks of it, no kids can walk or bike to Unionville Elementary school. Better planning can help avoid this kind of situation in many cases. Schools trying to avoid transportation headaches can site the school in a relatively walkable area, near more homes. Sidewalks and bike lanes, of course, also help.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog Los Angeles

Strategizing About Reduced Funding in the Active Transportation Program

Funding for Cycle 7 of the Active Transportation Program is less than $200 million, and already there have been requests for fifteen times the amount of available funding

July 18, 2024

Eyes on the Street: Hollywood Boulevard Bike Lanes are Open

The Hollywood bike lanes project, already very much in use, is also already being criticized by commenters at Nextdoor and other social media

July 17, 2024

Eyes on the Street: Vincent Bikeway is Coming Together

The new waterway bike/walk path - with on-street connections - is expected to open later this year

July 17, 2024
See all posts