Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Hey! Everybody out of the car pool!

Getting Princess Whackamole to school has been a little more exciting than it should be. The traffic flow around high schools is notoriously problematic: new and student drivers, distracted parents on cell phones, all the predictable stuff. Now add to that the insurance industry's lobbying for new teen driving laws a few years back, including one that outlaws teen carpools. I imagine the intent was to reduce the number of kids gone wild during evenings and weekends, but I don't think they fully considered the impact on school traffic.

On a side note, some of my best memories of high school are driving to school. My best friend Jenny and I would sit in the back seat while her older sister, Mary, drove. They'd pick me up in the morning, along with Mary's friend who lived across the street from me... The tape deck, the laughing, the screams as we whipped through yellowred lights...

Okay, maybe cars full of teenagers are more likely to have accidents, but is one car with four teenagers more dangerous than four, one-teen cars? The law has already been adapted to allow siblings to drive together if they have a note from their parent (this required a change to the original law). Couldn't the law be adapted to allowing carpooling to and from school?

If you have any doubt, try driving around a high school during peak hours. There are so many more cars coming to campus each day, the student lot can't hold them all. The whole neighborhood fills up with cars, each bringing one student to school...
Could there be a more effective way to indoctrinate a new generation of individual drivers than to teach them that CARPOOLS KILL?

But that's not what I wanted to write about today.

One specific intersection near the high school has been especially dangerous. It's an unmarked intersection, with poor visibility and no clear right-of-way. It's one of those intersection where cars usually slow down, but too often fly right through at full speed. Really scary.

After years of cringing each time I got to that corner, on February 7 I wrote to the Goleta Mayor and City Council to request a stop sign. And today, it was there. Two actually, exactly where they were needed.

I wanted to thank the Goleta City Council for putting in those stop signs.

THAT'S what governments are for.


Mud said...

We need the next generation to be better than us when it comes to using our transportation resources more efficiently, but when they get their licenses we force them to drive alone ... and we give them free parking at the High Schools.

It doesn't make any sense.

If they are not old enough to drive with someone else in the car, then they are not old enough to drive. Period.

Trekking Left said...

Yeah, not to mention the global warming implications ...

amy said...

A Woo-Hoo Weds shout out to you, Queen! Hooray for citizen activism! More power to the letter!