A Heartwarming Story From My Traffic Days
So Traffic Bureau deals with school zone traffic (duh). Since kids don't walk to school anymore, traffic congestion near schools is terrible in mornings and afternoons. In the afternoon, as many parents know, it is a competition to get to the school early and find a decent parking place nearest the entrance.
So at this one school, the parents would stack up in the loading zone in the parking lot and spill out on to the street. About 10 cars could fit in the lot and 20-30 more backed up around the corner, waiting for it to be 2 or 3 PM. Teachers and staff were parked on the street. Others parked on corners, in red zones, and in the bus zone.
I got asked to deal with the traffic jams and illegal parking that ticked off the residents. The biggest problem was that the buses couldn't get through traffic to pickup the kids! It wasn't like we were going to be running speed there (the usual school zone complaint). Tickets can only do so much so a creative solution had to be found.
What did I do? I suggested to the principal that she talk to the city and have the bus zone swapped with the loading zone. The buses could park in the lot along the curb where the parents formally queued. We would enforce the bus zone in the parking lot (21113 VC if you're wondering) and the on-street loading zone to keep cars moving. She listened and the city traffic engineer agreed.
In about two weeks, by government standards faster than I could notice, the swap occurred like it had always been that way. Instead of waiting for half-an-hour, parents could just wait until 3:03 or something, pull into the loading zone, let their kid get in, and drive off. It took a few days to get the parents trained, but they learned not to park in the bus zone and to treat the loading zone like a drive-thru.
The traffic jam cleared up and parents were happier. No parking tickets, no traffic court, no angry principal.
Comments are closed.
Note: this an adaptation from my non-fiction book Suburban Warfare: A cop's guide to surviving a civil war, SHTF, or modern urban combat, available on Amazon.