SUVs on Parade

Also known as afterschool pickup at an elite private school in an elite neighborhood of the liberal and holier-than-thou city of San Francisco:

Afterschool pickup

While I was ranting about trucks, I thought I might as well go ahead and post this photo too. This is a line for a high school in one of the country’s most compact cities with a very comprehensive public transit system; so why exactly do these teenagers need to be shuttled home in SUV’s every day? The line was literally half a block long, and as soon as it moved forward, another big gas guzzler would fill the gap left at the back of the line (except for one lonely prius which I could barely see squeezed between two trucks).

I know, I know, this is probably no different than any elite high school in the country. You expect more from San Franciscans, though — if they won’t make their teenage kids walk or take the bus, then who will?

11 Responses to “SUVs on Parade”

  1. Eric says:

    “The line was literally half a block long”

    The one I ride by daily at BB&N middle school here in Cambridge is often 2 blocks long. True, its a middle school, and many of the parents are no doubt coming in from Lexington or wherever, but I feel the same annoyance every time I ride my bike by it and see the moms or nannies sitting in the driver’s seats talking on their phones… Maybe the depression will make some of our consumption lss conspicuous?

  2. wordnerd says:

    Keep that picture handy for the Museum of Unnatural History….These SUV’s are endangered species. Remember the very high boxy Lexus SUV? Extinct as far as I can tell–haven’t seen one for months.

  3. Carol says:

    Most elite schools in San Francisco are in Pacific Heights. If you study a transit map of the city you will notice that buses are few and far between in that part of town. If not taken by SUV, how else are these kids going to get to their public service positions as ESL tutors in the Mission or lab assistants at the Academy of Sciences, etc.?

  4. ng says:

    how about by bike?

  5. dc says:

    ng- Making your child ride a bike up and down the hills of Pacific Heights is probably grounds for calling in Child Protective Services. If not, it should be. I’m very grateful to the kid who had set up a lemonade stand at the top of one of those hills yesterday — he only charged me a quarter, but I would have paid ten times that.

    Carol- Good question. Maybe the city should provide free helicopter shuttles to help those selfless teenagers get to their volunteer positions more easily? God forbid they should have to walk 2 or 3 short blocks to Divisadero or California and wait for a bus.

  6. Carol says:

    If a kid has to ride the Divisadero bus, forget it. I have watched it take 30 minutes to go two blocks in the afternoon. I can outwalk it some times. The city says that transit is first, but DPT times all the lights so that one per car residents of the outer Sunset and San Mateo County can streak home without any annoying stops. To heck with the young volunteers (assuming they exist), the old folks, the moms with a toddler and a baby in a stroller, the tired cooks and bottlewashers. I do hope Obama doesn’t elevate Nat Ford to some high position as it appears he may. Ford talks the populist talk but has a city-issued SUV – or did, last I knew.

  7. dc says:

    Truth be told, I have almost never used Muni buses. I’d rather just bike or walk, especially since SF has such a vibrant street life compared to most of the East Bay. And it’s so compact — you could probably walk from Embarcadero to Cliff house in 2 hours, if you hustle. Maybe I’ll try it sometime. (And my stridently anti-car principles don’t stop me from accepting rides when they’re offered, of course.)

  8. Danielle says:

    I teach at a private school outside Seattle and the SUV line is equal to at least 2-3 blocks. It’s sprinkled with Priuses (Pri-ii?) but the shear # of actual SUVs throws me every day. What ever happened to your average Honda? 2 kids, 2 adults fit perfectly fine in there!

  9. dc says:

    Now we’re talking — sensible cars for sensible people with sensible lifestyles. I’m glad to know that you have infiltrated a school to indoctrinate the kids with revolutionary principles. Or if not that, at least to set an example of kindness, decency, and common sense, which is probably even better.

  10. Eric says:

    Kindness, decency and common sense are probably not enough, unfortunately. I’m reading a good book by Niebuhr called “Moral Man and Immoral Society.” I think he’s right. My own elite high school students are generally decent, kind and common-sensical, but they are also leading (in their OWN cars, natch) the charge in our own immoral society’s mad drive to consume everything it possibly can and leave the earth a poisoned wasteland. They probably don’t even realize how bad plywood is.

  11. Quercki M. Singer says:

    I’ll bet a lot of those parents don’t live in S.F. Private high school students come from all over the Bay Area. Getting your child into a “good” high school (ie, one where your child is more likely to get in to the college of their choice than to be assaulted) in the Bay Area is MUCH harder than getting into college afterwards.

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