Drop-off and Pick-up Lane

A drop-off and pick-up lane is an area on a street adjacent to school grounds or directly on the school grounds that is dedicated to the loading and unloading of students by private motor vehicles.

This school created a drop-off and pick-up lane on the street adjacent to school grounds. The the picture below on the left shows a corral where children wait to be picked up. Motor vehicles with identification tags that correspond to an individual student line up in the yellow-lined area. When the motor vehicle progresses to the white-striped loading area, the appropriate child exits or enters the vehicle. Signs, such as the one in the picture on the right, can remind drivers to follow the established process.


Marin Horizon School, Mill Valley, CA.

An on-site drop-off and pick-up lane can employ the same general technique as in the on-street drop-off and pick-up lane. The system illustrated in the pictures below uses two lanes rather than one, and the lanes are actually on school grounds. Several motor vehicles in one lane progress to the unloading zone, release the children simultaneously and move out when all the children have cleared the street. The next group of motor vehicles moves into the loading zone from the other line of queued vehicles and repeats the process. Curb striping delineates the areas, signs further explain their proper use, orange cones mark the lanes, and school personnel orchestrate the entire process.


Monta Vista School, Santa Barbara, CA.

Tool: On-street and on-site drop-off and pick-up lane

What is it and how does it work?

  • A lane designated for drop off and pick up of students from private motor vehicles only.
  • May be on school grounds or on street adjacent to school.

Benefits strategy provides

  • Speeds up and provides order to the drop-off and pick-up process.

Key factors to consider

  • Clearly delineate zone and define process.
  • The student loading area should be at the far end of the lane to maximize vehicle storage. In some cases two storage lanes may be used.
  • Unload or load three or four motor vehicles at a time.
  • Do not create a process that negatively impacts students arriving on foot or bicycle, and do not encourage more parents to drive students to school.