Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cut your engine in line—children breathe here (August 23)

I read an article recently that got me a bit riled up.  An Indianapolis school district now must charge for bus service because of a “budget shortfall,” when voters turned down a referendum in May.
When I read the numbers—that not even 2,000 students are signed up to ride the buses (down from 7-8,000 last year)—my heart sank thinking of the environmental impact of all of those cars idling in line and all of that concentrated pollution. Yuck.
After school began I read that parents sat in long, snaking lines of cars, probably all idling.  One parent with three school kids spent four hours driving (and sitting) in traffic on the first day. 
The environmental impact is HUGE, as is the concern I have for these kids breathing in this cloud of pollution. Is there any anti-idling ordinance at any Indiana school? I’m doubtful, and it’s endlessly frustrating.
I’m so tired of the short-sightedness (we don’t want to pay more taxes!)  vs. the long term thinking of “what’s best for the students/parents/staff/environment/health?”  I think this applies to the school too, because apparently the school has a $14 million ‘rainy day’ fund. If the school transportation issue isn’t a worthwhile cause to spend money on, I don’t know what is.
If you drive your child to school, please carpool if you can and turn off your engine anytime you’ll be waiting for more than 10 seconds in line.  Many school districts nationwide have adopted anti-idling campaigns and I would love to see this here in Indiana.  Idling is completely unnecessary and it’s SUCH an easy thing to just cut the engine.  Oh, and with our state ranking number six (yeah, in the Top Ten!) for toxic air quality, it’s the least we can all do.

No comments:

Post a Comment