Sunday, September 06, 2009

Parking ban returns to haunt schools again

Parking ban returns to haunt schools again

Schools feel the measure would pose no problem, but the parents feel otherwise, reports Jayalakshmi Venugopal

Jayalakshmi Venugopal



Starting Monday, schools located in the central business district of the city are preparing to see the return of the ban on parking for private vehicles in front of their campuses, courtesy the police commissioner, Shankar M Bidari's new directions.
These private vehicles, mostly cars, autos and vans ferrying students to and from schools on a daily basis, are said to be causing traffic congestion during peak hours.
The new rule will reportedly cover around 16 schools, which includes Bishop Cotton Boys' School, National Public School (Indiranagar), Baldwin Boys' High School, Baldwin Girls' School, Sacred Heart High School, Sophia High School and Bishop Cotton Girls' School.
Dinakar Wilson, principal, Baldwin's said, "It shouldn't cause much of a problem for the parents of our students because we allow the vehicles to enter the campus to drop off the kids. So there is no question of parents' vehicles causing traffic jams on the main road."
School managements are unsure whether this move will bear any results this time round. "Parents will not like it if we tell them to send their child in the school bus or by car pooling. It is a status problem for many," said a principal of a leading school.
While welcoming the move, school authorities also want to ensure the safety of the students when they arrive and depart. "Little children might get scared if they have to walk to school with vehicles moving on the roads. Not allowing parking in front of schools is a welcome move. However, whichever the nearest drop-off or pick-up point is would also witness the same kind of traffic congestion. I don't see how this will make any difference," said Shanta Chandran, principal, NPS, Indiranagar.
"Traffic woes have grown and areas near educational institutions experience the worst kind of traffic congestion. This order has been passed, keeping public interest in mind," said BA Muthanna, deputy commissioner of police (traffic east).
Parents, however, are not too happy with the police's decision.
"Implementing such a ban wouldn't help at all. I don't think the number of vehicles dropping students to the schools will go down. Moreover, I think traffic is held up for a mere 15-20 minutes, which I don't feel is a big deal," said Preity Sondhi, whose son studies at the Bishop Cotton's School.
Akmal Pasha, a van driver who drops over 20 children every day to schools near Residency Road, said, "This rule means that I will have to park the van at a considerable distance from the school. Little children would be forced to walk on busy roads which may become a safety issue."
(With inputs from Santosh Kumar RB and Arun Dev)

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