Just a Normal Day, Dropping the Kid Off at School

Video screen capture. David Bruce/ Youtube

Angie Schmitt of Streetsblog shows this amazing video of an attempt at organizing the school drop-off at Unionville Elementary School in a suburb of Charlotte, North Carolina.

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.
It is so strange to watch- two lines of cars move forward, stop, everyone jumps out and runs around, then they move off and the next group takes their place. David Bruce explains on Youtube:
The school does provide buses, but some of these buses come by some areas at 6am to pick up kids. Most parents both work and they drop their child off on the way to work. There are over 700 kids at this school and where would you put 700 bicycles if they could ride to school. Riding on a bike or walking is not an option because this school has kids 15 miles away. Who would let their kid ride a bike or walk 15 miles to school everyday. This is an area that is very rural and there is no way the state would ever install hundreds of miles of sidewalks that don't even lead to a town.

There have always been rural schools that are served by buses or parents driving, and this is probably not too different a scene from what you might see across North America. But over the years, the rural schools have got bigger, the journeys have got longer. There has to be a better solution than this.