How Schools Can Address Idling Cars

Schools can do more to reduce the environmental threat posed by idling cars during drop-off or pick-up. School districts could also improve their buses with that aim in mind.

February 29, 2016, 1:00 PM PST

By Philip Rojc @PhilipRojc


Cars Traffic

Newtown grafitti / Flickr

While student safety is of paramount concern to parents and school districts, protocols haven't mitigated the air quality threat of idling cars and buses. Angie Schmitt writes, "Every morning and afternoon at schools around the country, pick-up and drop-off times are free-for-alls of mindless idling, with tailpipes spitting poisonous chemicals into the air children breathe."

That environment can exacerbate or even cause chronic respiratory conditions like asthma. "Asthma is the most common chronic disease among children. Car exhaust can trigger attacks and may cause asthma itself, and schools are where children tend to be especially exposed."

The article cites four ways schools could encourage cleaner air as students arrive and leave.

  • Choose school sites and build street infrastructure with active transportation—walking and biking—in mind.
  • Educate parents about the issue; encourage them to turn off engines while they wait
  • Keep school bus idling to a minimum
  • Retrofit school buses with cleaner engines

Wednesday, February 17, 2016 in Streetsblog USA

The New York Public Library's stone lions Patience and Fortitude have donned face masks to remind New Yorkers to wear face coverings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Top Urban Planning Books of 2021

Planetizen's annual list of the top urban planning books of the year is here—maintaining a tradition that dates back to 2002.

November 26, 2021 - James Brasuell

Empty Road

The Roadway Expansion Paradox

Motorists want expensive roadway expansions provided that somebody else foots the bill, but when required to pay directly through tolls, the need for more capacity often disappears. What should planners do?

November 28, 2021 - Todd Litman

Moving

Urban Exodus: Data Don't Support the Popular Pandemic Narrative

Americans fled cities in waves during the pandemic, right? Not to so fast.

November 30, 2021 - Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University

California Homeless

Study: At Least 1,500 Unhoused Died on the Streets of L.A. During the Pandemic

New research represents the first detailed picture of death among people experiencing homelessness during the pandemic.

15 minutes ago - The Guardian

A mile marker showing mile zero of the Great Allegheny Passage, which is a bike and pedestrian path that begins in Cumberland, Maryland and ends in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Measuring the Economic Impact of the Great Allegheny Passage

Small communities once dependent on coal, coke, paper, lumber, and manufacturing now have a 150-mile bike and pedestrian path contributing to the local economy.

1 hour ago - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Houston, Texas

Houston Could End Homelessness With Less Than 2,000 Housing Units

Houston's homeless response program has yielded strong results in the last few years. Just 1,900 new affordable housing units could 'effectively end' homelessness in the city.

2 hours ago - Rice Kinder Institute for Urban Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.