Ugh. These School Drop Offs are the Absolute Worst in Billings
As we settle into another school year Billings parents are once again remembering just how awful some of the parking drop-off/pick-up situations are at local schools. What should be a relatively simple task is a twice-daily traffic nightmare at many neighborhood schools.
My theory on why it's so bad.
Most of the schools in the Billings area are old. Some were built over 100 years ago. Back then, I'm guessing that every little Johnny and Susie didn't get dropped off by a mom or dad in a Model T Ford at school. There were far more horses than cars in Montana in 1920 and most kids probably walked to school. Uphill. Both ways... in snowstorms. Older schools were obviously not designed for tons of car traffic.
Hundreds of vehicles all at once.
Fast forward to the modern day where hundreds of parents all arrive at approximately the same time, morning and afternoon to transport kids to and from school and you've got a traffic jam. We asked you on our social media channels what are some of the absolute worst schools in town for picking up and dropping off kids. Here are some of the top answers.
Will James Middle School
Set between Grand and Broadwater on 30th St West, school traffic can be messy here. Chris M. wrote,
So much activity on a street about as wide as someones driveway was not a fun experience. Open field all around that place and a better system could not be worked out? I'm sure the church across the street just loves people playing bumper cars in their lot everyday.
Billings Heights is a busy place and parents said Sandstone gets a little frustrating during the morning drop-off routine. Allysa G. wrote,
Some parents just dont understand (or care) that you can't just park in the drop off line, get out, get your kid out, have a chat or walk them right up to the front door. If they need or want to do all that they need to park in the right place.
Dilly-dallying around in the drop-off line is poor etiquette and kind of rude.
One of the oldest schools in SD2, Broadwater offers almost no parking, other than on the tree-lined side streets. The immediate neighborhood gets pretty crowded at 8 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Once upon a time, I worked at a business located a couple of blocks from this school. I would remind myself to avoid the corner of Lewis and 22nd St W in the morning and afternoon during school time. It gets really hectic.
Situated on one of the busiest two-lane highways in the Billings area, steady truck and automobile traffic frequently speed past the school on US Hwy 87, contributing to the frustration of dropping off kids at this school.
Castle Rock Middle School
Castle Rock overwhelming received the most nominations for the most frustrating - and dangerous - school drop-off/pick-up in Billings. Sarah J. wrote,
Idk about others but trying to drop my son off at castle rock was a complete s--- show…. The light at wicks and governors was SO backed up people were running red lights and stopped in the middle of the intersection with other people trying to turn on the red light…. It was terrible and am worried for kids who have to cross either street (like my son)
It's not all negative news though... Andrea D asked, "Can I say the best?", adding that Ponderosa and Riverside flow pretty smoothly. Is your kids' school on our list? There's obviously not much we can do about it, so please be courteous to other parents/drivers. The most important thing is that no children get run over.