Friday, 14 June 2013

Anti-RPZ myth: an RPZ makes the school run harder

With years of data, Bristol Traffic can go back in time and look at problems before the RPZ was rolled out -and compare it with today. This is why when people say "RPZ makes school runs worse", we have to say "you are joking, right?"

The RPZ will make the school run easier, whether it is by car, foot or even bicycle.
Here are some reference points as to the existing problem.

Cotham Road, where the sole drop-off point free on a weekday was a bus-only area where you would sporadically get ticketed.

Parents who drove had no option to park anywhere else -as there wasn't anywhere else. Ticketing was
always a risk -and with only room for four cars, contention with other parents. When the buses turned up -they'd double park, selfishly, not only blocking you in, but creating traffic jams inconveniencing other school runners.

Colston Primary School, where the only parking spaces were on the corners -where your car could get scratched by push chairs.

There was that and the yellow "keep free" area. As everyone knows, the keep free area means "keep free for parents", but now the council has a CCTV car doing drivebys, you can't use them for that.

That was before. Now look at exactly the same corner, now that the RPZ has been rolled out

So much space for dropoff and pickup, that those parents who walk or cycle don't give you a hard time for driving to school.

In the mornings, the RPZ restrictions only kick in at 09:00. As residents leave, their spaces where historically taken up by commuters. As that no longer happens, that frees up spaces for parents to park.
When coupled with the fact that there is now parking near their houses, even people who live in the city without a driveway can take their kids to school and get home again. Nobody should have any excuse for not driving their children to school

In the afternoons, those spaces are still there for pickup. Yes, the zone is still live, but you get 15 minutes of free parking (soon to be 30). No doubt somebody will say "only 15 minutes of parking before you get a ticket" -but you never even used to get that 15 minutes, as there was never anywhere to park where you weren't at risk of ticketing. And look at how much space there is -you don't have to worry about not finding a space.

As well as the extra parking spaces, morning and night, here are some other benefits
  1. A reduction in commuter traffic will reduce congestion during peak am school run times.
  2. The bicyclists can keep out the way when you are in a rush.
  3. No double parked parents by other schools you need to get past en route to your children's.
Together, this should reduce journey times and parental stress, reducing redland-mum incidents,  where a "redland mum" is defined as: anyone who is prepared to kill or inure anyone else in the city if the alternative is to drop their kids off at school late.

Again, then, the fact that the RPZ will improve life for residents trying to drive round the city -here the essential school run- that it is leading us to suspect that the anti-RPZ campaigners are in fact cyclists who are trying to keep driving round the city so miserable that people will want to cycle instead.

We will resist the tyranny of the bike lobby! We need to embrace the Resident Parking Zones for what they really are: Resident Driving Zones.

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