A view from a traffic guard...
Posted February 16, 2012
I'm not really well qualified to talk about the daily drop off and pick up, since we walk every day (we're a flat ten minutes away and figure that that isn't too onerous, but maybe we're crazy, because we're also the only people we know who walk every day in to UCLA after drop off).
But I was astonished by traffic guard duty the one day that I was signed up for it. The traffic regime works ONLY if people cooperate and wait their turn to pull up, have the door opened, have the child or children get out, and then go off ... to let the next car do the same. The regime totally falls down if someone waiting in line opens the door and waits for their kid to get out because that impedes the flow of the line and slows things down for everyone. In short, it all collapses and does not move if people aren't patient and wait their turn.
The one day that I was on, about half of the people driving couldn't have been nicer --- kind, generous, and grateful for that extra little bit of help getting their child out and off. But about half were impossibly rude. They didn't pull up. They blocked the route for everyone else by unloading, often slowly, well behind where the cones clearly indicated I was waiting. It was, in a word, infuriating because this spoiled the working of the system for everyone else.
My recommendation: moral shaming of the people who pull this and material sanctions for those who persist. The traffic monitors know or can take down the license plates of the cars that don't pull up and wait their turn. If rude and obnoxious people are permitted to continue to be rude and obnoxious without penalty, they have no incentive to do otherwise. Westwood charter is a community and only works if, crudely, more of those who are able to put in (or at least behave reasonably) do so, and those who are so without regard for others are not allowed are sanctioned in some meaningful way.