Skip to Content
Streetsblog California home
Streetsblog California 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 California

Brightline West Breaks Ground on Vegas to SoCal High-Speed Rail

Brightline West will be a 218-mile 186-mile-per-hour rail line from Vegas to Rancho Cucamonga - about 40 miles east of downtown L.A. - expected to open in 2028

April 23, 2024

CalBike Summit to Advocates: Don’t Take No for an Answer

"Persistence with kindness." "Keep trying different things." "You have to be kind of annoying." "Light up their phones."

April 23, 2024

SFMTA Starts West Portal Outreach

Agency presents plans to block traffic from crossing in front of the train station

April 23, 2024
See all posts