The daily school run is a major cause of traffic congestion in the peak morning rush hour, despite the widespread use of school buses. The problem is compounded with the safety issue of congested traffic trying to get children to school safely whilst other road users are also trying to get into work. The problem is further compounded with school teachers trying to get into work to manage the daily inflow of substantial numbers of students, and in high schools where students are driving their own cars, the situation is even worse.
Parking permits are a major tool to combat traffic congestion around schools. The typical scenario is for children to be taken to school and dropped off by parents who try to park their vehicles anywhere they can, as long as it is close to school. Even with small numbers of parents trying to park close by school, the traffic congestion this causes in hindering the normal traffic flow is extensive. Unfortunately, the numbers involved are not small and they are also growing.
The problem of traffic congestion around schools is particularly sensitive because with traffic congestion comes a heightened risk of traffic accidents. Driver attention is stretched with so many external factors to watch out for and take into account for safe driving. Combining this with the fact that children are inherently unpredictable, and especially because they have a reduced sense of danger from road users, this is a recipe for disaster. Many car accidents involving children occur within 100 yards of a school, and frequently accidents occur on the school premises as parents drive onto school property.
By reducing traffic congestion around and on school premises, the risk to children is dramatically reduced. At the same time, traffic is able to flow faster and more safely for all road users involved.
Parking permits are an effective method of controlling parking around schools. By ensuring that only parents and vehicles with parking permits can park upon school grounds and the surrounding roads within a certain controlled zone, the amount of traffic congestion will be significantly reduced. A parking permit is an easily managed solution which ensures that only vehicles with permission are allowed to park close by schools. By ensuring that parking permits must be displayed it becomes a simple solution to police and enforce.
A further advantage of enforcing parking permit schemes close by school is that polluting emissions are reduced. Children are highly susceptible to pollution from cars and other road users, and especially kids suffering from respiratory complaints such as asthma or allergies suffer disproportionately.
Overall, introducing school parking permits reduces congestion and speeds up the time it takes to have children safely onto the school premises. The school commute time is reduced overall too, and school safety is significantly improved for those educational establishments controlling traffic on and around their premises.
Instituting a school parking permit scheme is simple. Parking permits can easily be sourced and it is a simple task to issue and enforce the scheme once it is introduced. Obtaining the necessary permissions from local government is also fairly easy to achieve as such schemes have no downside – children are protected, road congestion is eased and the environment is protected which makes it practically impossible to argue against.
Reducing Traffic Congestion with Carpooling Parking Permits
99% of car journeys in the United States end with free parking, however with traffic congestion rising and strangling economic development, as well as incurring huge costs, this is unsustainable. Urban areas and inner cities have long known that barring traffic from certain zones is one way to control traffic congestion, however without an adequate public transportation system, essential traffic carrying residents and commuter workers.
A solution to the issue is to implement a car pooling parking permit scheme.
Car pooling is a win-win situation whereby even with a two people sharing a car, the traffic congestion factor is reduced by half. If three people share a ride, that is two additional vehicles removed from the equation and so on.
It is not just congestion which is eased as there is a range of other factors at work. Not least is the environmental issue with the reduction in pollution from car emissions and the reduced noise from fewer cars on the road. Localized pollution and environmental concerns are therefore very quickly addressed; however the benefits do not end there. There are environmental benefits on the macro scale too. Car travel is highly inefficient from a fuel consumption perspective, which is why public transportation networks are so highly favored and desired. In terms of fuel consumption per commute, even full cars are highly inefficient, but by carpooling at least maximum car efficiency can be achieved which in turn reduces overall fuel consumption.
Parking is widely regarded as a ‘right’ rather than what it really is – a convenient privilege which comes with a significant cost attached.
By implementing a car pooling scheme which has advantages and benefits conferred upon users, it will be a more attractive option for commuters who will more readily adopt the practice. We see the impact that High Occupancy Lanes already has for many commuters who are regularly snarled and delayed in heavy traffic conditions, whilst car poolers are able to use free highway lanes reserved for their use. It makes sense to extend the benefits of car pooling to commuters by making it simpler and easier for them to find parking too.
By designating parking spaces strictly for car poolers, traffic management is able to make the work commute and regular traffic flows easier for everyone involved. At its fundamental heart, by controlling parking privileges the traffic flow can be controlled and every road users’ behaviors can be influenced. After all, if you are unable to park a vehicle conveniently, then car travel becomes less attractive unless there is some other attached benefit to using them. From the perspective of residents and businesses within high congestion zones, it makes a great deal of sense to impose and maintain strict control over the traffic flows and who can park in areas with limited space. Businesses benefit by increased and more convenient access for essential workers and customers, whilst residents benefit from living in a less traffic congested area.
Implementing car pooling parking schemes are not difficult as they follow the pattern of traditional parking permit schemes. These have been around for long enough now that the process for implementation and enforcement is well understood. The benefits are significant and hard to argue against, so obtaining the consent of local government agencies involved and adoption by road users is almost guaranteed.
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- City Hall’s war on traffic: new weaponry (rt.com)
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