I see school buses everywhere.

So why is the road up here near the elementary school choked with traffic at 8:30AM because everybody and their brother is dropping their kid off at school?*

I mean, come on.  This is ridiculous.  It’s bad enough that it adds all those cars to the rush hour mix, but then you have a fucking rent-a-cop out in the street stopping traffic so the cars can get back out of the school driveway!  So you have traffic backed up for a quarter mile in BOTH directions on a TWO-LANE ROAD at one of the busiest times of day.

The sad thing is that, over the summer, a two-lane bridge on the street directly across from the school exit was being replaced one lane at a time, and because the bridge was the only way for people in that neighborhood to get in and out**, the contractor installed a temporary traffic light so that they’d have a fighting chance.

They should have left that traffic light right where it was.  It would have been perfect.

Instead, it disappeared a few days before school started and they went back to the rent-a-cop plan.

There ought to be a law about school zones that states

  1. Any school zone may drop the speed limit only 5 MPH below the normally-posted limit for that road.  No sudden 20MPH drops coming down a hill to a traffic-light-controlled intersection that oh by the way is a quarter-mile from the actual school building (International School on Michigan Road just north of White River) and shouldn’t qualify for a school zone to begin with.
  2. Every school property must have at least one entrance controlled by a traffic light, and all bus traffic must enter and leave school property through that entry.
  3. If school property has a road running along it but does not have an entry on that road, no school zone may exist on that road.
  4. All school zone speed limit signs must be equipped with flashing yellow lights that are timed to operate only during the hours that the speed zone is in effect, with steep fines assessed to school districts for either leaving them on outside of hours or not having them turned on during those hours.

If the true reason for school zones was to protect kids walking along the road or otherwise leaving school property, then the solution would be mandatory sidewalks and mandatory six-foot fences along all school property.  The true reason for school zones is to protect traffic entering or leaving the school, at the expense of everybody else’s commute.


* It should be noted that I am rarely on the road at that hour because I work at home.  So I honesttly had no idea how bad it was.  I had an eye doctor appointment this morning up at 116th and Penn for which I left the house (I thought) in plenty of time to get there with 5 or 10 minutes to spare.  No such luck.

** And what stupid planning commission allowed that to get through forty years ago, anyway?