The Water Cooler – Traffic Safety at Schools in Contra Costa County

August 22, 2017 12:00 pm · 41 comments

The “Water Cooler” is a feature on where we will ask you a question or provide a topic, and you will talk about it.

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday at noon.

Today’s question:

Do you think each school in Contra Costa County needs a better plan for the drop-off/pick-up of students in front of the schools, or do you think they do a great job? Also, do you think those in charge do enough to ensure the safety of the students?

Talk about it….

AnonZ August 22, 2017 at 12:11 PM

I thank my lucky stars that my kids are grown and I don’t have to deal with this any longer! Drop-off and Pick-up at Silverwood, Pine Hollow and CVHS were absolutely terrible.

I know for a fact that the situation at Silverwood is still terrible because I live on a side street near there. At pick-up time, I can’t even get to my street because of the traffic blocking the road. These idiots won’t pull over and park, nor circle around until the bell rings. They show up 30 minutes early to get in line down Claycord Ave and block all other traffic trying to drive through the neighborhood.

Cellophane August 22, 2017 at 12:11 PM

What the schools do is one thing.

What the parents do is generally a horrid experience.

Don’t put the onus on the schools, it’s the parents who behave like inappropriately.

Old Timer August 22, 2017 at 12:15 PM

In my day we we walked barefoot to school in three miles of snow.

MotherSisterDaughter August 22, 2017 at 12:33 PM

I agree with Cellophane. The parents do not follow the rules. How can we teach our kids right from wrong if parents are not going to follow the rules?

And the right has it August 22, 2017 at 12:33 PM

I would never live near a school for this reason. One of us walks the kid to school, or if not in walking distance, we would drive and park further away and then walk in. What happens now is just lazy and selfish parenting. The kid goes to afterschool care because we both work, but we would do the same thing if we could pick up at that time. Freaking walk in, lazy people! My mom did the same thing when I was dropped off at school. She dropped me off in an area that was not crowded. Get off your butts, people, and walk a bit! Most of you can use it!

Kentucky Derby August 22, 2017 at 12:35 PM

Unless you live in a very high crime area, kids should walk to school. Use the buddy system. Even Marc Klass (who’s only child was murdered) believes kids should walk to school – with the buddy system.

Walking to school creates confidence in a child. It gives he or she the opportunity to believe in themselves, and it’s great exercise. As long as they’re taught to look both ways, cross at crosswalks (no jaywalking), etc.

Parents are doing their children a horrible disservice driving their children to school. And creating a nightmare traffic situation. Drive the kids in the rain.

Our kids are grown – and yes, they walked to school. So did their parents. There was never a problem.

Missy August 22, 2017 at 12:36 PM

@Old Timer. Me too. But it was uphill both ways where I lived. And I had to carry my little brother because we were too poor to afford shoes for both of us. My mother would tape pieces of old tire to my feet so I would have sneakers like the other kids. And in the winter I had to carry my boots so they wouldn’t get wet.

Antler August 22, 2017 at 12:36 PM

Better plan:

Have MORE schools
With SMALLER classrooms
And dedicated pick-up lanes
Within adequate parking lots

To pay for all that???
I just lost my creativity.

Silva August 22, 2017 at 12:43 PM

The Silverwood School situation really is bad. A LOT more kids walked to school when back when there was a crossing guard on Clayton Road for many years once upon a time.

Concordejet August 22, 2017 at 12:52 PM

Old timer

Just like the flinstone lol

When I was a, kid I went to school on a helicopter.

Justifiable anger August 22, 2017 at 12:54 PM

Why don’t our kids to walk to school anymore?

foonman August 22, 2017 at 12:57 PM

It seems to work OK at Westwood, as long as there ae enough squad cars around to protect the innocent from angry parents dropping off their kids. I feel sorry for people that live across the street though…..but they bought a house across from a school so they should know…..

Did I Say That Out Loud August 22, 2017 at 1:14 PM

Seemed so much easier when there were school buses.

Cowellian August 22, 2017 at 1:14 PM

I used to walk to school, back when people didn’t care if I cut through their yards.

When our kids were at Bianchi, we usually dropped them off or picked them up, going to, or coming home from work. But we also walked with them sometimes, if the weather was nice and we weren’t in a hurry. Middle and High Schools were a completely different story, though.

Pony August 22, 2017 at 1:36 PM

Most schools the traffic issues are horrible. Not just in CoCo but everywhere in the US. Having kids walk to school or bring back busing are two options. Lord knows every parent is the most important parent in the school so they should have preferential treatment. No amount of planning or educating these MIP’s will help. *yes, there was sarcasm in there*

Giddyup August 22, 2017 at 1:59 PM

People who lived in Berkeley back in the 70s used to laugh at people out here who neatly lined up single file at the door marks to enter BART trains. In Berkeley, they all crushed forward at a free-for-all when the doors opened, every man for himself. Now they have children and they are living out here in suburbia delivering the kids to school. But they’re still using that all-crush-forward-free-for-all-every-man-for-himself style of dropoff at school. If they apprached the whole thing in a more orderly fashion there would be a lot less chaos. Honestly, from what I’ve seen I don’t know how their children survive to become adults.

anon August 22, 2017 at 2:16 PM

“What the parents do is generally a horrid experience.”

As a former cop … you people have no idea

Suzanne August 22, 2017 at 2:29 PM

Kids need to learn to walk, although these days definitely with a buddy or two. As far as traffic and safety, I agree with many of you. It’s the parents who need to wise up and slow down. And get off your bloody cellphone!!

Rob August 22, 2017 at 3:14 PM

Unfortunately any plan has to involve thinking of people not following the rules and trying to think about that – that’s the reality of being around humans.

WhatThe? August 22, 2017 at 3:15 PM

Reading these comments tells me they weren’t written by parents with kids currently in school. First, we live way too far for my kids to walk to school and unless I was really close I wouldn’t have my first grader walking alone anyway. Second, my kids go to Mount Diablo Elementary which only has a small neighborhood around it so there isn’t enough parking for everyone even if they wanted to. Lastly, both of us work so I don’t have unlimited time to drop off and pick up so just like pretty much every other family we’re blocking all the roads around the school during pick up and drop off and making the whole thing even worse.
The solution is simple, BUSES!!!! Its completely inefficient to have every parent drop off and pick up their kid, think of how much time, gas, and money we’re wasting and making it more dangerous. Having buses drive around the neighborhoods makes so much more sense. If the school district ever asks how they can make life better for parents (my oldest is now in Middle School and the district has never asked that question) my first response would be to have buses.

Atticus Thraxx August 22, 2017 at 4:49 PM

You’re lucky Old Timer. We had to also, but we didn’t have feet.

anonnnnaannoonn August 22, 2017 at 4:49 PM

To Foonman:
I do NOT agree with you! Things around Westwood are HORRIBLE! Parents want the schools to teach their kids to read and comprehend, yet the PARENTS can’t read and understand the signs that say “Staff parking only, no student pick up or drop off”
Every parent thinks their child is special and deserves special treatment!

Dorothy August 22, 2017 at 6:52 PM

While my granddaughter was living with me I took her to and from school. Not so bad during grade school, found non main street for Jr High, but for high school, I left her off and picked her up 3 blocks away. The walk was good for her and the traffic was easier to deal with.

ON DA August 22, 2017 at 7:40 PM

This is the plan. SLOW DOWN.

Giddyup August 22, 2017 at 8:25 PM

I crawled on my hands and knees two miles to high school because I wanted to go so bad.

BITE_ME August 22, 2017 at 9:14 PM

Why walk/be driven to school for 12 years. Then the next 4 years of college be online.
It should be done the other way around…… is 2017 not 1953.

Shoulda Coulda August 22, 2017 at 10:05 PM

@ Old Timer

Like Atticus Thraxx said, you were lucky!
We had to walk barefoot to school up ice
covered hills. We had to wrap rusty
barbedwire around our bare feet to get traction.

In Japan almost 98% of school kids walk
to school. Then we wonder why there’s
an obesity epidemic amongst children.

Dr. Jellyfinger August 23, 2017 at 12:12 AM

If Clayton would install a big dry slide at the top of School Hill that wound it’s way down over the creek to Oak Street it would really speed things up for students being picked up by their parents after school… probably be fun too.

AnonZ August 23, 2017 at 5:29 AM

WhatThe? #20 has the right idea. Buses need to be brought back. All of you who are saying walk, walk, walk….. you obviously don’t have kids currently in school. A lot of kids are too far from their home school to walk. For example, the small neighborhood between CVHS and YV Rd. goes to Silverwood Elementary over 2 miles away and crossing some main roads. In this day and age, WHO would let their K-5 aged kid walk? How about a Clayton teenager that goes to Northgate High; are they going to walk over YV Road ?? Get real.

No Thanks August 23, 2017 at 6:29 AM

So the kids walk to the car, get driven to the front door of the school, walk into school, get picked up at the front door of the school, get driven home, and stay indoors after school. This sounds like perfect training for a job/life when they become fat adults.

Or maybe it’s the school lunches?

Silva August 23, 2017 at 7:04 AM

School districts aren’t going to pay for busses.

D.V. Guy August 23, 2017 at 8:05 AM

All schools should have a 15 MPH speed limit for surrounding areas, this would make the trip safer for our kids and maybe more would walk to school.

The Mamba August 23, 2017 at 8:20 AM

I think they need to get creative and offer incentives to parents to get out of cars and have kids walk or ride bikes or drop off earlier to spread things out.

Concord Guy August 23, 2017 at 9:30 AM

What I do know is that some parents who drop off their children at Highlands Elementary in the morning speed up and down Michigan Boulevard. Yesterday and this morning I stood in front of my house and watch some cars get up to 40 MPH between speed bumps. This while there are children walking to school along that very street.


primo August 23, 2017 at 9:59 AM

but remember,it is cococo-one cannot expect or even hope for more ,sadly.

Shoulda Coulda August 23, 2017 at 10:14 AM
Cellophane August 23, 2017 at 10:24 AM

I had to walk to and from school

Always in a blizzard.
Up hill both ways so had to crawl
Had only thin shirt and shorts
No shoes
Only one foot
wrapped rusty barb wire around my stumpy leg
into the wind both ways
it was always pitch black dark
no breakfast or lunch
partially blind
No friends, kids threw rocks at me
Mom had to tie a pork chop around my neck to the dog would play with me
Read by candle light
Had only a chalk board to write things on
Got a 4.0 and a full ride to Harvard.
Didn’t have bus fare so couldn’t get to college.

Justifiable anger August 23, 2017 at 11:37 AM

Great idea Mamba. Stagger the school hours.

Babs August 23, 2017 at 11:39 AM

Does anyone remember BIG YELLOW SCHOOL BUSES, I worked at a local High School, 1500 students, at least 1000 cars every morning dropping off their children, PLEASE BRING BACK THE BIG YELLOW SCHOOL BUSES!!!

Mithandril August 23, 2017 at 12:44 PM

Guys Buses are expensive.

So to bring them back we need a new revenue source. So who want a Mello Roos or more taxes?

Shoulda Coulda August 23, 2017 at 2:00 PM

@ Cellophane

Ya, we had a few fortunate people like you
in our backwoods town. We always envied
all that you had. It’s not nice to brag.

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