The parking lot is at capacity. Students, teachers, and parents suffer before and after school due to inefficient traffic patterns. The best solution is patience.
“The school right now is at its peak of traffic inefficiency,” Principal Sean Bevan says. “Each day the student lot likely gains one new driver.”
There are not a lot of steps that can be taken to prevent or improve the parking lot because of the layout of the high school and the low number of entrances and parking spots. The most important thing that students can do is be patient.
In Bevan’s mind, the most crucial part of the day is the morning when students, faculty, and parents are all arriving around the same time.
Before 7:15, the only lot entrance available for students is adjacent to the pool or the softball field. Cutting through the teacher lot is prohibited. According to Bevin, this rule is mainly in place to protect teachers needing to park.
After 7:15, students can drive through the bus lane in order to get to the student lot and park, which can often take the same amount of time as waiting in the traffic in front of Nahatan St.
In the afternoon, less of a safety risk exists, even though this can be seen as more of a frustrating time for students due to busses departing after 2:02 pm daily.
Altering the bus traffic patterns would be more hazardous and confusing, increasing the chance of an accident, Bevan says. The front loop is not big enough to fit all the buses and the turns are too sharp for the buses to maneuver.
One student driver said, “If you don’t rush out to your car each day, the busses leave and the parking lot is a standstill for what feels like forever.”
One fear Mr. Bevan expressed is that one day there will be no spots remaining in the student, teacher or overflow lot, and students will turn to “the maze” (the neighborhood across from Nahantan Street) for parking.
Many suggestions have been made in the past to assign paid spaces to specific students or groups of students.
The superintendent is adamant about not having paid parking passes, Mr. Bevan implied, and even if each student were assigned a parking space, enforcing parking rules poses a challenge.
There have been many small changes to the parking lots over these past years that have been beneficial including the addition of 15-18 new spots around the light posts and the annual re-installation of speed bumps.
It may have seemed that the speed bumps were installed in order to slow down and control students in the parking lot this year, but they have been removed anticipating that they will hinder plowing of the snow this winter.