Improving Drop-off Zones

Walking to School to improve drop-off zones, Sacramento, CA

Easy Ways to Improve Drop-off and Pick-up at Schools

  • The most effective – and the healthiest – way to improve drop-off and pick-up conditions is to walk or bicycle to school.
  • Encourage Walking School Buses and Bike Trains. This involves adult volunteer escorts who accompany children to school, stopping at designated locations where children can join the “bus” or “train” at pre-arranged times.
  • Promote the “park-and-walk” option: Adults can find parking further away from the school and join students for a short walk. For a school-wide plan, ask nearby facilities if their parking lot can be used for drop-off and pick-up and have volunteers take students between that location and the school.
  • Promote carpooling and consider providing incentives to carpool vehicles like designated lanes for carpoolers.
  • Develop drop-off and pick-up rules: Create and update written drop-off and pick-up procedures. Give them to parents at the start of each school term and periodically throughout the year.
  • Conduct regular traffic safety training: Have school personnel, police and volunteers periodically monitor drop-off and pick-up conditions and provide instruction to drivers.
  • Stagger bell times: Start and end school at staggered times for different grades to create two or more smaller peak traffic flows rather than one large traffic flow.
  • Use a “valet” at drop-off areas: Cars pull up and a valet (school staff, volunteer or older student) opens the student’s door to expedite drop-off. Drivers are not permitted to leave the vehicle and must proceed after the door is shut.
  • Revise curb striping and signing: Working with the local public works department, drop-off and pick-up zones can be extended, parking and stopping restrictions modified, etc.

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