If you read a few blogs back, you’ll see me ranting about volunteering and miscreant parent drivers in our school parking lot. Parents who behave badly teach their children to do the same. After lobbying for school and military police help, I had an idea to make the parking lot safer.
Working with our principal, I drew up a rough draft of a relatively cheaper way to fix some of the safety issues. The drawing a was forwarded, worked on by our CE section on base, and several months later, (this weekend), it was implemented. We redrew the parking lot.
I don’t have ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos. I didn’t think they’d ever actually do it. Before, the parking lot had 3 vertical rows of double column parking. There were frequent mishaps with children running behind cars, and cars backing out into on-coming traffic. Not to mention, cars backing out and into each other.
My solution was to turn the rows from vertical to horizontal. Teachers have reserved spots on the front two rows. They park and go in. The parents can park, then pull thru when leaving, in the third row. No backing out, the crosswalk is clearly designated, marked correctly, and crosses the entire parking lot. There is now one entrance and one exit. Traffic only moves in one direction. Visibility is improved.
Bad points- parents will still behave badly and recklessly. There are only enough parking spots for staff. (This is a negative and positive. No parent parking means less traffic).
Other schools in the area have little or no teacher or parent parking. The goal was to make the lot safer. It has.
How do you deal with parking parents? Incentivize walking. It is healthier and greener for our society. Most of the families in the school live within a quarter mile radius. Why drive? Last year, it was suggested that we start a ‘walking school bus’. This promotes safety and community, and it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. A few volunteers, a few manpower hours, et voila- it would reduce the number of kids running in the street, cut down on crosswalk confusion and get kids to school safely.
Am I trying to create a utopia? No, just a safer way for kids to get to school. Now, I need a charismatic parent to push the rest into motion. I’m a sledgehammer. I need a silver tongued parent to sweet talk the rest.