Chaotic Roads to Classrooms
It is difficult not to notice the chaos on crossing roads near school zones. Horn blaring cars, vans and buses fight for the narrow space available on city roads for parking. Parents holding their uniform-clad children in one hand and lunch kits in the other, and older students, with their own vehicles, making the roads look like a mismanaged parking lot.
The lone security guard makes a futile attempt to regulate traffic while the ordinary commuter watches helplessly, sometime cursing the guard. The Traffic Enforcement wing, which is already handicapped with a shortage of staff, pools in resources from other wings to regulate traffic during peak hours.
According to an official with the education department, a little more than 8 lakh students study in 1,516 schools in Chennai district. “Of these, only a third of the student population go to private schools. Still, the traffic is high in areas where private schools are located,” the official told City Express.
One main reason is that most parents tend to drop their children by car despite the many school buses, other than the private vans, that ferry school children.
“More than 2,500 school buses drive through the city every day. This is equivalent to 70% of the existing MTC fleet of 3,530 buses,” an official with the transport department said.
More coordination is required from the local cops to ease traffic congestion during the peak traffic hours especially near school entrances. The cops are now focused more on diverting traffic from roads in which the leading private schools are located. This is not a permanent solution. They need to come up with something innovative
— S Sekhar, Auto Driver, Egmore
In several areas, drivers drop school children and park the car and vans along the nearby streets throughout the day making it difficult for people in the neighbourhood to use those roads”
— M Shankar, Kilpauk resident