Are School Parking Lots Safe?

Jaina Gliva, contributing writer

With more students and less parking lot space, the safety of the school parking lots is becoming a major concern.

As Assistant Principal, Shad Hallihan explains, “The main problem is that over the past five to ten years, our enrollment has grown, our building has expanded, and we have lost parking space.”

Hallihan states that, “There are over 3,000 people leaving the property between 3:15 and 3:30 pm, including hundreds of cars and 30 buses, so everyone needs to be patient and careful.”  Security Guard Bob says that since “[t]he school parking lots were not designed for buses,” there is an overcrowding problem with so many buses in a small area.

Another cause of safety concern in the parking lots are students and parents who do not follow the rules.  Daily, parents do not read the signs that show where to pick up and drop off their children and students are seen going through the stop sign without stopping. Bob tells that, “Students do not pay attention because they are on their phones.”  Matters are expected to get worse as the weather gets colder and there is snow covering the parking lots.   Current state law also prohibits cell phone use in the school zone.

The West Safety Committee, a group of teachers, security guards, clerical staff members, administrators, and the police liaison officer, will be meeting to investigate any changes that can be made to make the parking lots less crowded and safer for everyone.

Mr. Ronald Fonck, an Honors Biology teacher and Safety Committee representative, suggests that the school should “[m]ake a strip of asphalt by the E Building” for buses so they do not have to be in the parking lots at all.  The only problem is, making a path of asphalt for all the buses would be very expensive.

Mr. Fonck suggests that one way to raise money for a path for buses would be to raise the parking price for juniors and seniors.  Although, that may not be a favorable solution for students who do not want to pay even more than they do already.

The next Safety Committee meeting is on November 14.   Concerns should be directed to shallihan@jths.org<mailto:shallihan@jths.org>