My Open Letter to Parents Picking Up Kids in Great Falls

Without trying to brag, I have travelled some pretty interesting roadways and highways that crisscross Montana and the United States.  Nothing compares to driving I-5 near Seattle with so much rain falling you couldn't see the lines or traffic.  Or trying to pull a flatbed full of equipment through the boroughs of Phoenix and Las Vegas.  There was even a point I needed to use whiskey to unthaw a frozen carburetor on a country road to make it home.


None of the above prepared me for the question that my son and daughter in law asked me at the start of the school year this fall.

It Is Nothing Short of Pure Mayhem in the Afternoon

If you have ever had to be around any of our school zones surrounding any of the elementary, middle or high school areas, you know it can be a little intimidating and confusing.  Which lane to stay in, where is the drop off spot, the parking spot, the never ever go here spot.

Sometimes, it is like a beautiful, choreographed dance number that comes off without a hook or hitch.  But recently, it has just become mayhem trying to get in and out of the area to pick kids up.

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Paying Attention to the Surroundings and the Markings

At the start of the year, it all seemed well.  Maybe that was just the calm before the storm.  Because over the last few weeks, drivers have just become horrible!

Here are 5 things to help everyone have a better day while picking up their child from the school zone areas:

  1. Parking - Seems like a no-brainer.  Nope.  Not parking in designated areas, parking more than 2ft. from the curb, or completely ignoring the yellow markings on the curbs that plainly say, "no parking".
  2. Slow Down - Again, no-brainer.  But at any given time, you will see someone trying to break the sound barrier while travelling through the school zones.
  3. Snuggles - Get off my bumper!  Don't park so close to the car in front or behind you that trying to get out requires a can opener or the jaws of life.
  4. Crosswalks - You really are supposed to stop.
  5. Feeling Entitled - I get it.  Your child is a track star.  They can run fast.  That doesn't mean stop in the middle of the street and throwing open the door to let them jump in movie style.  Find a parking space and wait like everyone else.

What about you?  Have you seen some questionable driving skills around our schools during pick-up times?  Let us know in our social media post, talk with us through the appchat feature or email us here.

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