Traffic congestion near the school campus is a matter of great concern and something that should be payed attention to. It causes a lot of inconvenience to parents, pedestrians, students, school authorities and others residents living nearby.
Many school students get driven to the school by private cars, while others come on their bicycles or by walking. The increase in the traffic renders the systematic arrangements near the school gates and leads to the unnecessary chaos.
Congestion of vehicles near the school gates causes problems to pedestrians and cyclists coming to schools and they may not have an access to sidewalks and school parking areas may be unorganized. Parents and motorists can behave disorderly by parking in no parking zones or double parking or ignoring the traffic rules and over speeding of vehicles.
To reduce the traffic congestion and ensure safety around the school the first step to be taken is to observe the movement of the vehicles around the area, availability of roads and organized parking spaces and then setting the rules to reduce the traffic.
Steps to scale down the traffic obstruction:
- Know Access Points
There should be the least number of entry and exit points in the school that will help to reduce the vehicle congestion. Larger the number of the access points more will be the congestion. Locating the exit and entry points with the bigger roads and easy accessibility to parking space can help to scale the traffic down.
The access points should be locked during the school hours and should be opened when the students have to be let in and out. All the access points should be guarded by the security in order to maintain the discipline.
Getting sufficient parking space for the schools located in urban areas can be a problem. For this problem, city or district councils can be approached for additional parking space which might cause a problem to neighboring areas.
As the neighbor’s consent is necessary, hence the plan can be negotiated with them for using the parking space only during the school hours after which the space will be vacant for their use.
High school students that drive to school by their own vehicles have to be given clear instructions on how to systematically park their vehicles.
- Pick-up and Drop-off points
A dedicated drop-off and pick-up point has to be set away from the parking zone which will help to reduce the traffic. The pick-up and drop-off points should be designated for cars and school buses.
Alternate routes to enter and exit the school campus can be used in order to lower the vehicle congestion at one place. Staff members can accompany children from cars and school buses to schools in order to pace up the drop-off process.
- Alternate transportation modes
Traffic hazards, distance, time constraints, bad weather are the reasons for transporting child to schools personally. Parents can be made aware about the safe alternative means of transport for travelling to school. This can be done by providing information through leaflets and newsletters.
Reduction of vehicles at the school gates can ease the traffic congestion without causing any problems. Students and parents have to be educated about the benefits of walking or cycling to the school. The impact on environment and health aspects should be mentioned in order to encourage the students to switch to alternative transportation modes.
- School Timings
Starting and finishing time for Montessori, Primary and High school should be different. At a certain point this can be inconvenient for the parents who have children in all section but this can help to lessen the traffic at a very high rate.
There cannot be a single solution to this problem but different ways to scale down the traffic at the school gates during peak time can surely be thought of. Every school differs in the matter of location and size therefore, every problem should be analyzed and solved accordingly.