District: Don’t idle in school waiting areas
The Solana Beach School District will soon begin encouraging parents to turn off their engines when they pick up their children from school. At the urging of the Clean and Green Committee, the school board decided to start educating parents about anti-car idling.
“The city, working with the Clean and Green team, developed some educational materials regarding anti-idling at the request of the school district,” said Danny King, the city’ environmental specialist. “Members of the Clean and Green Team approached the school district about this situation and the school district enthusiastically embraced the idea.”
“It is outside our control to enforce,” said Bill Banning, Solana Beach School District’s assistant superintendent. “We want to educate parents and children and be really positively encouraging to parents.”
Banning added that the anti-car idling sentiments are directed toward those who arrive early and idle, not those who are idling while traffic is crawling.
“If you are going to be parked for more than 30 seconds, turn off the engine,” the school Web site now states. The district posted more information on the district site and individual school sites with facts and statistics about gas efficiency and idling.
Some parents, however, say that instead, the district should do more to ease congestion at school sites and shorten the wait time.
“It’s not good for the environment or your car, but there should be a better system in the parking lot,” said Terra Carlson, a Skyline Elementary School parent.
While most parents are supportive of anti-car idling, they would rather see a larger or better situated parking lot built or the return of school buses to the elementary schools rather than a temporary fix to the traffic and increased car exhaust issues.
“It’s definitely no good being near a school with all the exhaust,” said David Zito, a Skyline parent.
The district does offer some alternatives to picking students up on campus with actions like Walking to School Days where parents and children are encouraged to walk to school together instead of driving.
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