RALEIGH (WTVD) --Blaring horns and aggressive, impatient drivers. You've probably been there: a school's carpool line. At one Wake County school, things got so bad that local engineers were brought in to study it and make it better.
Enloe High School's PTA asked a group of senior NC State engineering students to come and study its school's carpool. The students spent the entire spring watching how it worked, and how it didn't.
Students found from the time school gets out to the time a driver can get through the carpool line takes 10-15 minutes. It's only longer if a car arrives before students are released. Their study also shows the school can relocate part of its carpool line to utilize unused areas of the school. Then it can force traffic flows with gates and stop and start points. But the biggest takeaway for the PTA who asked for the study is that parents or drivers picking up are impatient, and their impatience is leading to aggressive driving and unsafe conditions.
"We were lucky to get a scientific approach because a lot of times people sit around and they make assumptions and they talk about they think is this or that. We were actually able to muster real engineering talent and study this scientifically so we have real answers," said PTA President Rodger Koopman.
So what will they do with this information? Will the carpool line change for next school year? Koopman says the carpool comes second to the school bus situation for Enloe.
"We don't have enough funding for the correct number of school buses, so a lot of what we do is not about how to get the car pool out safely and unimpeded, but more about how do we get the buses out very, very quickly," he explained.
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