October 20


Free Spreadsheet Tool for Analyzing School Pick-Up Zones

By Mike Spack

October 20, 2015

bus zones, pick up zones, school, school plans

School Bus 4 - Hopkins - NACWe’ve developed traffic control plans for several schools recently.  This includes analyzing parking, bus loading zones, and loading zones for kids driven to school.

To the best of our ability, we try to separate these three areas and minimize the pedestrian/vehicle conflict points. An open question related to traffic control plans is how much storage should be provided for cars that are dropping off/picking up children.

I recently stumbled on the North Carolina DOT’s site related to schools.  They collected a lot of queuing data at schools and put together a spreadsheet tool for analyzing school sites (check the upper right-hand corner of the website for the MSTA school calculator).

We should all be collecting localized traffic data, but the North Carolina DOT spreadsheet is a great starting point.  It would be helpful if every state DOT would develop datasets similar to North Carolina’s.  Starting with the DOT’s spreadsheet would be a great shortcut for each state.

If you’re new to school traffic operations, I also recommend checking out my blog series 7 Parts of an Effective School Traffic Safety Plan.


  • The guideline and spreadsheet focus on vehicle/bus traffic only. Majority of school traffic is walking and some cycling, specially in Canada. Do you any resources for multimodal systems?

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    Mike Spack

    My mission is to help traffic engineers, transportation planners, and other transportation professionals improve our world.

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