22/9/2010

School Holiday Traffic

Filed under: — Bravus @ 9:46 am

Driving in to work this morning, the traffic was blissfully sane. As it always is during school holidays. It occurred to me that, rather than spending billions on new roadworks to ease traffic congestion, simply getting the majority of the ‘school run’ off the road would make a very dramatic difference to Brisbane’s traffic flows.

There are two parts to a solution:

One is a massive public education campaign to get more kids travelling to school on foot, bicycle and public transport. It *is* safe in Brisbane, but many parents seem to think it’s not, so they drive them to school. An associated piece of this puzzle is reinstating lockers at school so kids don’t have to carry all their books to and fro each day – something that would also have significant spinal health benefits.

Another is to separate the two morning traffic ‘bubbles’ – the morning peak hour as those who need to be in the office at 9 am head to work and the parallel rush with school starting at 8:30 or 9. If school started at 10 or 10:30 and went a bit later students would learn as much (or more – recent research shows that teens learn better when they get to sleep in in the morning) but the traffic congestion would be eased considerably.

The latter step would also to some extent ‘force’ the former, since parents would be at work already and unable to drive kids to work.

I reckon the whole proposal has a lot of things going for it.

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