Pick and drop: Schools adding to already troubled traffic

Published: February 16, 2014
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Photo of a traffic jam. PHOTO: FILE

Photo of a traffic jam. PHOTO: FILE

RAWALPINDI: 

Having a house or a business near a school is becoming increasingly problematic as coming to school on foot is almost unthinkable these days. Almost every student either uses a personal or a hired vehicle, creating chaos at school opening and closing times.

With most private schools located in congested areas, traffic problems are further compounded.

Rawalpindi is experiencing severe traffic problems these days as parents and van drivers park to collect students from the educational institutions situated on every road and street of the city.

Residents of Sir Syed Chowk area look at the problem getting awful day by day as they see hundreds of cars parked in the surrounding streets. They have written to school authorities asking them to call on school van drivers and parents to be more considerate, but all their efforts have gone in vain.

The owner of a bookshop across Viqarun Nisa School and College on Jehangir Road says, “The problem was highlighted after a parked car almost ran over a schoolgirl’s foot, nearly injuring her.”

Manzar Naqvi, the father of fourth grader, says, “Justifications from parents such as ‘I want to get home quickly as my other child is sick’, or van drivers saying ‘there is no other place to park my vehicle’ are just inexcusable as poor car parking creates a nuisance for others. The safety of children is a concern for everyone facing such situations on a daily basis.”

Parents and van-drivers park their vehicles in front of residents’ driveways and even in the middle of the road, which also holds up traffic, says Asad Abbas, a nearby baker.

Talibul Moula, a teacher at a private school on Tipu Road, says, “Parking problems at ‘closing bell’ time are quite serious and are getting acute with the passage of time as more private schools are popping up in every corner of the city. Also, many schools sit near T and Y-junctions of roads, which makes it even worse.”

“The safety of children should be of paramount importance. What are we teaching our children through this traffic mismanagement?” asks Hamid Taqi, a teacher at a local school.

“While I recognise the trouble caused to residents, the major concern remains the protection of children, and this problem must be dealt with sincerely,” says Alamdar Hussain, the principal of a private school on Shaheed Oun Muhammad Rizvi Road.

“Sans any concrete measures, the problem will only get worse if more schools are established in the areas, as van drivers and parents are not considerate of residents’ problems and the children’s safety,” says Hamid Hussain, a retired college professor.

“As a society, we have a duty to change our conduct for the sake of our children. Manners breed manners. We must all try and mould the society and behaviour we want our children to be part of,” said Abida Naqi, a private school principal.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 16th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (13)

  • Syed Abdul Hayee
    Feb 16, 2014 - 11:40PM

    Thanks for raising this very important issue. It’s not just the opening and closing time of educational institutions even the evening time traffic is getting terrible near Sir Syed Chowk as swarm of evening classes’ students, private cars and school vans is adding to the traffic confusion on this road.Recommend

  • Zahid Hussain Ali
    Feb 16, 2014 - 11:49PM

    Pick and Drop vans keep on jamming not only the roads but also the brains of the residents of the area with constantly sounding the horn.

    Recommend

  • Aijaz Obaid Ahmad
    Feb 18, 2014 - 9:02AM

    People who use Pindi roads during school leaving time, inadvertently get stuck, till the school vans, cars and bikes clear. Paradoxically, sometimes, the side lanes are more crowded than the main roads.

    Recommend

  • Meerza Muhammad Ahmad
    Feb 18, 2014 - 9:09AM

    Is there any solution to tackle chaotic traffic jams near schools caused by large numbers of vehicles, cars and school vans either dropping or collecting children during school opening and closing times? Perhaps, Sir Syed Chowk is the worst affected chowk in Rawalpindi.

    Recommend

  • Abdul Suleman
    Feb 19, 2014 - 7:39AM

    The same is the case of Murree Road schools.and those situated in the by-lanes. Although traffic has been eased by closing U-turns but at the places of location of schools situation is the same.

    Recommend

  • Shazia
    Feb 19, 2014 - 8:36AM

    Saidpur Road and surrounding areas like Sixth Road experience the same problem. School vans and parents’ cars cause a gridlock on these roads. Perhaps van drivers and parents both share the blame.

    Recommend

  • Hina Mirza
    Feb 20, 2014 - 9:02AM

    Cantonment Area Chaklala near Airport Road faces the same chaos on closing time of schools. Airport Link Road and its surrounding areas are also no exception.

    Recommend

  • Rizwan Ali
    Feb 20, 2014 - 9:13AM

    Some routes have the misfortune of having a cluster of schools on the way. With great schools come greater traffic. Add to it the fact that school autos have mostly given way to school vans.

    Recommend

  • T. Qazalbaash
    Feb 20, 2014 - 9:23AM

    We simply cannot have bigger roads. So, all we can do is make sure we distribute the growing number of school vans along other roads so that the traffic jams are lesser. But where are the other roads having lesser traffic?

    Recommend

  • Qanbar Rizvi
    Feb 20, 2014 - 9:36AM

    The upper crest schools draw a greater number of individual cars, while the mid-range schools draw a large number of vans. Chungi 22, Harley Street, Tench Bhatta, Dhoke Syeddan have slow traffic because of school problem.

    Recommend

  • Misbah
    Feb 20, 2014 - 9:51AM

    Parents insist on dropping-off and picking-up their children to and from the schools leaving the area around the schools blocked. Pitiable is the scene on Shah Khalid Colony Service Road where many schools exist.

    Recommend

  • Shamama Shah
    Feb 22, 2014 - 8:05AM

    We have lost the habit of caring for others. It’s not just the parents and school van drivers to blame, all the motorists on the roads behave in the same manner.

    Recommend

  • Shafqat Abbas
    Feb 24, 2014 - 4:18PM

    Shamama has said rightly. The other day a biker carrying his wife and kids slipped off the filthy service road of Shah Khald Colony but the motorists and cyclists passing through that road didn’t bother to help him out. Rather they abused the taxi driver for blocking the traffic who stopped his vehicle to lend help to the fallen man and his family. Recommend

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