Change Alley

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Moan of the Week: The School Run

with 11 comments

We live about 1/2 a mile away from a popular primary school, with all the usual associated problems of school run traffic and pressure on parking space in local streets. In order to beat the rush, parents are turning up earlier and earlier. The other day at 2 p.m. I walked up the road on the way to the allotments, and passed a parked car with its engine running. A woman was seated behind the wheel, reading a book. When I returned an hour later she was still there, engine still running. As it was a very hot day, I can only assume she was doing this to use the air conditioning.

How crap is that?


Written by Pete Smith

May 5, 2007 at 9:21 am

11 Responses

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  1. Oh I see this every day too. I can’t believe that people would sit for an hour or so in their cars just so they get a parking space as close to the school as possible. Heaven forbid that they should have to park further away and walk a few yards extra!

    Do they not have a life???


    May 5, 2007 at 9:28 am

  2. Hi earthpal, it’s not the parking and sitting that bugs me so much. At least she was reading a book, perhaps she’d factored the time into her schedule for some distance learning. It’s running the engine for an hour that really gets up my nose.

    Pete Smith

    May 5, 2007 at 9:34 am

  3. Oh absolutely Pete. I meant to mention the running engine bit too. Most parents at our school that arrive early do switch off their engines so no gripes there.

    But all this getting there early in order to grab themselves a parking space closer to the school reveals an unwillingness to park a bit further away and walk the extra which in turn demonstrates the sad dependance on cars.


    May 5, 2007 at 9:43 am

  4. And of course, we are raising a generation of children for whom walking anywhere and taking their sweet time to do so is becoming a foreign construct – they will be unquestioning in their reliance of being transported from place to place by other mechanisms than their own feet, and will be a generation to expect car transportation to be forever possible. it is hard to break a cycle of behaviours, when thos e modelled are aleady undesirable, or even may be soon defunct.


    May 5, 2007 at 8:37 pm

  5. Interestingly there is talk in Canada of the need for more compact urban design, even though land a plenty dictates that the car is god. An uphill struggle possibly?


    May 6, 2007 at 9:28 am

  6. […] and I are planning to walk to school every day possible this year.  I am sure matt wrote about Walk to School Week a few months ago, but now I cannot find his post … where is it, please matt?  I shall link to […]

  7. Thanks! You are right that the pointless waste of energy is dreadful. As a pedestrian parent, I have to walk past and then stand next to vehicles that are needlessly exhausting! I know why many parents do this: they overschedule their own lives and those of their children, and the only way they can get their kids to the next after-school “appointment” is by being first at the gate … and first out of it when the kids emerge from classes.


    August 23, 2007 at 8:50 am

  8. Over-scheduled? The idiots that prompted my post don’t seem to have busy, hectic lives. They can afford to sit for over an hour in a car with the engine idling to run the aircon, reading or gassing on their cellphone.
    They’re just reserving themselves a slot close to the school so little Jimmy doesn’t have to drag his lardy butt too far.

    I take your point about pushy parents going OTT on after-school activities though.

    Pete Smith

    August 23, 2007 at 10:06 am

  9. > lardy butt …

    LOL. I see a Simpsons sketch coming on …


    August 23, 2007 at 10:11 am

  10. Perhaps next time I should set the air bag off …

    Pete Smith

    August 23, 2007 at 10:51 am

  11. ya, good idea!


    August 23, 2007 at 11:09 am

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