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Watch the Insanity of American School Drop-Off

The double-wide snake of cars in the parking lot didn’t solve the problem. Via David Bruce/YouTube

This video nicely encapsulates how ridiculous American school transportation has become in the era of parental chauffeurs.

It shows an experiment by the North Carolina Department of Transportation to keep school drop-off at Unionville Elementary School -- located in a sprawling, semi-rural area outside Charlotte -- from backing up onto the road that runs by it:

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.

David Bruce, who posted the video, says the NCDOT pilot was not deemed successful enough to continue permanently.

According to Bruce, Unionville does have school buses, but many parents think they come too early, so they drop their children off on their way to work. The school draws from a radius of about 15 miles, so not all kids could walk or bike even if it were safe to do so.

From the looks of it, no kids can walk or bike to Unionville Elementary school. Better planning can help avoid this kind of situation in many cases. Schools trying to avoid transportation headaches can site the school in a relatively walkable area, near more homes. Sidewalks and bike lanes, of course, also help.

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