Traffic Safety

This year all parents will be required to attend an informational meeting where Traffic will be one of the topics discussed. Please read this form as you and whoever picks up your child from school will be asked to sign.

We want to get every child to and from school safely. Our Canyon setting is beautiful, but can be challenging for driving, parking, walking, and biking. Please learn the rules by clicking here: Traffic Safety Guide. It will help you with:

  • drop-off and pick-up
  • tips on where to park
  • routes for walking
  • Traffic Safety duty

And remember the following key rules to keep our kids safe:

  • drive clockwise around campus
  • no u-turns!
  • let children out on right side only
  • do not use the staff parking lots!

BIKING TO SCHOOL

BIKE PARKING

We encourage all families to use our Bike Park to store their bikes, scooters and skateboards!  The entrance to the Bike Park is at the Library Gate on Amalfi Drive.

Please have children:
•        Enter the Bike Park and lock his/her bicycle to a rack
•        Enter and exit school through Amalfi Gate only

Please remember that bikes, skateboards, scooters, roller-skates and roller-blades are not permitted on campus at any time. Bicycles parked in the Bike Park are not covered by any District insurance. Families will need to secure their own insurance against loss or damage. If your child rides a bicycle to school, he/she is responsible for obeying all laws and safety rules pertaining to bike riding. Helmets are required.

HELPFUL TIPS

DROP OFF EARLY

Stressed about congestion? Morning traffic around the campus usually reaches a peak between 8:05 and 8:15. The school gates open at 7:45. Try dropping off by 8:00 for a relaxed good-bye to your kids and a stress-free start to your day.

CHECK OUT ZONE D

Located on Amalfi, it's the least crowded of the four drop-off zones. See Zone Maps above.

PARK REMOTELY AND WALK

Even if you have to drop off at peak times, if you have the time to park and walk, there is usually parking along West Channel / Entrada between the two traffic lights (at Mesa and at East Channel). Avoid looking for parking directly adjacent to the campus, since there's very little of it. See the Parking and Walking Map above.

TRY SAGE LANE

If you do walk to school, or park and walk, Sage Lane is a quiet residential alley with almost no cars, and leads directly to the bridge and George's crosswalk at Channel Gate into the school.

TRY EAST CHANNEL VIA SAN LORENZO

Some parents arriving via San Vicente Boulevard turn off at San Lorenzo and park near the East Channel cul-de-sac. It's a short walk to school from there.

BEWARE LAST FRIDAYS

There is usually a school-wide Assembly on the last Friday of each month. This always produces more traffic and congestion than usual since many parents want to attend and try to find limited parking during the peak traffic period. Just take note of this schedule and plan accordingly.

REMEMBER TO RELAX FOR SAFETY

Even if you're running late, remember that it's always more important to be safe than to be on time. Accidents happen when people are late, stressed, and make poor decisions in traffic. If your child is a few minutes late to class, there is no harm. That may not be true if you speed, make a u-turn, back into a driveway, or let your child out on the wrong side.

PICK UP A LITTLE LATE!

Afternoon pick-up is always high pressure as too many people try to park and wait in too little space. Here's a suggestion: for once, be a little late! The bell rings at 2:55 on MWF, and at 1:45 on TTH. On most days, all the congestion disappears within 10 or 15 minutes. Gone! Poof!  Why not arrange with your student to pick them up at 3:05 or 3:10 on MWF, or at 1:55 or 2:00 on TTH. Instead of circling around the campus or trying to squeeze in (or worse, double parking or j-walking:  strictly no-no!), you'll usually be able to pull right up to Library Gate with no hassle. Most of the kids seem happy to hang out with their friends for a few extra minutes after school.

PICK UP A LITTLE EARLY!

If you need to pick up a student right after the dismissal bell - say for a doctor's appointment - try arriving at least 20 minutes before the bell rings - by 2:35 on MWF, 1:25 on TTH. You're pretty well assured of getting a nice waiting space near Library Gate in Zone D on Amalfi (just remember you may not leave your car!). And if not, there's still overflow waiting space in Zone C on East Channel Road. But don't expect to show up at the last minute and make a quick getaway - even the kids know that usually doesn't work!

WHEN IT RAINS, IT'S POOR

It never rains in California...it just pours. Rainy days are tough for Drop-Off and Pick-Up at school. Visibility is reduced, the roads are slick, traffic backs up more than usual, many people end up running late and are tempted to speed up instead of slowing down. If it's raining or rain is predicted, do what you can to avoid the peak period for Drop-Off (8:05-8:15). In the afternoon, consider coming after the peak for Pick-Up (try 3:10 on MWF or 2:00 on TTH) - don't worry, the kids wait under the canopy at Library Gate and won't get wet. For our stalwart Traffic Safety Volunteers, we have provided bright green umbrellas stored in the bright green caddies. These will not only keep you dry, but help make you much more visible to drivers. 

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: WHICH DROP-OFF ZONE SHOULD I USE?
A: Zone A near the Kinder building is ONLY for cars with at least one Kindergarten passenger. Zone C is located past Crossing Guard George's crosswalk, and is the primary drop-off zone; Zone B is much smaller and is mainly for overflow from C. Zone D (around the corner on Amalfi) is the least crowded and can be used by anyone, but please don't make u-turns on Amalfi to use it. See the Zone Maps above.

Q: WHY DO I HAVE TO DRIVE CLOCKWISE AROUND CAMPUS?
A: The clockwise pattern puts children on the school side of the street. The Safety Committee observed that most unsafe driving and walking behavior came from cars moving counterclockwise: u-turns, turning into staff parking, letting children out on the left, j-walking. 

Q: DOESN'T THIS PRODUCE MORE CONGESTION?
A: The clockwise pattern has created a calmer, safer, more orderly drop-off. It does at certain times result in additional waiting time along Amalfi as you approach the stop sign at Entrada. But the traffic does move, and the overall safety benefits far outweigh the inconvenience.

Q: CAN I USE THE STAFF PARKING LOTS TO DROP OFF OR TURN AROUND?
A: No. Turning into these lots for drop-off, using them for u-turns, or driving through them to change direction seriously endangers children on the sidewalks, increases the risk of collisions, and adds to congestion - such moves are strictly prohibited. The staff parking lots are for the exclusive use of staff and teachers, with the sole exception of those families who have a Disabled Permit, who may use the spaces at the lot off of East Channel. No others have permission to park in these lots. Please put safety above convenience by complying with these restrictions.

Q: WHY AREN'T THERE MORE CROSSING GUARDS?
A: We have requested additional guards, and the school has been approved for one more (in addition to George). But there is currently no funding for the second guard. This is one of the reasons why parents serving on Traffic Safety Duty is so critical, since this includes crossing duty at the Channel and Amalfi crosswalk.

Q: WHY IS TRAFFIC SAFETY DUTY REQUIRED OF ALL FAMILIES?
A: Because of increased enrollment and the resulting increase in traffic, Canyon students were being imperiled by unsafe driving. The Safety Committee determined that in order to provide a safe drop-off and pick-up, we needed 5 adults each morning and 3 each afternoon. The previous system of voluntary participation was placing a heavy burden on Room Parents, and still not providing the needed number of volunteers. A system was put in place so that the responsibility of assuring safe arrival and departure for all students was fairly shared by the entire school community.

Q: HOW WILL I KNOW WHAT IS EXPECTED ON TRAFFIC SAFETY DUTY?
A: Each classroom has a Traffic Safety Coordinator who organizes the assignments and oversees the service. Detailed instructions are in the Canyon Traffic Safety Manual. 

Q: WHY HAVE I BEEN ASSIGNED A SPECIFIC DAY AND TIME TO SERVE?
A: It became nearly impossible for each Room Traffic Safety Coordinator to juggle the schedules of 60 or more parents and guardians. The new system assigns all slots alphabetically to each family in the classroom, well ahead of time. Parents and guardians are then free to swap slots if they can't serve at that time. The Coordinators can help out with this trading.

Q: HOW OFTEN WILL I HAVE TO SERVE?
A: Each classroom serves for a single 2-week period during the year (exception: 4th and 5th grade classrooms serve for 3 weeks because they're larger). During that time, each family will typically be expected to serve for 3 or 4 slots (morning or afternoon) during their period of service. Service means showing up for your slot, finding a substitute, or informing the coordinator that you are unable to assist with traffic duty.

Q: IS SERVICE MANDATORY?
A: No it is not. However, unfortunately, Canyon School does not have the funds to hire private safety guards, as some private schools do. This is a case where we all have to pull together to assure the overall safety of the students. If you fail to show up for your slot, or find a substitute, you leave a gap in the traffic safety system and increase the risk of an accident and injury to a child. Please work with your fellow room parents and Room Traffic Safety Coordinator to make sure that you do your part. If you feel the assigned duty is a true financial or personal hardship, please talk with your Traffic Safety Coordinator, who will try to help make other arrangements.