Keep it moving: Regulation for picking up in the student lot

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The bus circle was built only three years ago, and each day, it becomes flooded with parents trying to pick up their kids after school. The surge of cars makes the parking lot seem like a game of Rush Hour: parents waiting for their kids to come, students stuck in the back, the exit blocked. Because of the traffic in the bus circle, parents use the student parking lot as an alternative. Trying to leave the student parking lot after school usually takes around fifteen to twenty minutes on a typical seven period day because of the incessant traffic, which entirely blocks off one of the exit lanes on McClellan Rd. These parents shouldn’t be allowed to park and pick up their kids from the student parking lot and rules should be put in place regarding this matter. This issue needs to be resolved for the sake of all students who pay for the parking permit in order to gain privilege to the lot.

If you attempt to drive to or from school after seventh period—or sixth on Wednesdays—it may feel as though the traffic is literally not moving. Senior Spencer Sullivan-Hayes feels this is the case in the student parking lot during pick-up time for the students trying to exit.

Student Parking lot

Student Parking lot

The student parking lot’s double parallel lanes leading to only one exit is the source of this traffic. Parents waiting for their kids will be parked alongside the right lane curb, bottlenecking the two lanes down to one. This now becomes the only outlet for around forty to fifty students vehicles waiting to exit the lot. Sullivan-Hayes has been stuck in this traffic enough times to remember the specific cars lining up.

“There’s a 4,000 pound, eight-foot long black Mercedes GLE just sitting there, taking up space that could be used by cars that are trying to get out,” Sullivan-Hayes said. “Stuff like this makes people who don’t have free seventh leaving, like me, absolute chaos.”

Sullivan-Hayes feels that we should start enforcing some rules regarding the student parking lot. He feels that the source of this traffic is primarily composed of parents picking up students, so therefore they should be somehow stopped, whether it be through a warning or even further measures.

“It isn’t like random parents come in and do this and we can’t catch them,” Sullivan-Hayes said. “It’s literally the same people. [They aren’t] some rogue-enemies; it’s specific people who make everybody’s life suck because they can’t go a block away from the school to pick up their kid.”

Traffic in student lot

Traffic in student lot

Yukti Singh, a mother of a freshman student at MVHS, lives walking distance away from school. She briefly came in to pick up the girl’s soccer team towards the end of 7th period on a Tuesday. Singh completely disagrees with parents’ decisions to enter the student parking lot in order to save time in the process of picking up their kids; however, there are countless other places in the residential areas near the school to do so. She has seen the horror of the traffic first hand.

“I definitely see the traffic here after school, pick-up time is a crazy time. Since high school kids are driving now, I feel that this should be their space,” Singh said. “I see why it would be faster for parents to pick up their kids here but with all the new student drivers coming in and out, this should be their safe zone.”

A possible solution, which Singh offered, is to construct a new structure to assist with the flow of traffic during the chaotic times. She recommended a multi-level parking structure, such as the ones found in De Anza College and various other college campuses, in order to utilize the infinite amount of vertical space available. Singh suggested that the top three floors could be exclusively for students and the bottom can be open to parents picking up in order to reduce the overall traffic of the McClellan road area after school.

This issue regarding the student parking lot may be just a small concern to some who don’t mind the extra waiting time, but this traffic also slows down the process for parents who are also stuck in the lot. The traffic is counter intuitive for both parties and should be resolved in order to ensure the most convenient for both students and parents. Measures could be easily taken by first enforcing a rule prohibiting parents from parking to pick up their kids in the student parking lot during the thirty minutes before and after school. This will likely prompt the parents to move to the bus circle, which is also too small to occupy their capacity so a majority will then likely move to the only other areas possible around school: nearby residential areas. These areas are big enough to occupy enough parked cars without affecting the flow of traffic as much, for the streets are broad enough to support some cars parked to the sides. This issue should be examined and resolved for the sake of convenience for all.

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Albert Wang is a first year staff writing for news.