Traffic JA-MN

The lack of administrative action in the MN parking lot is leading to major parking issues

Staff Editorial

It’s 7:40 in the morning. Straining to see over the steering wheel and past other cars, students search for a parking spot. The problem is, there aren’t any. 

Lately, getting to school 20 minutes early has meant circling the lot until a spot opens up, giving up, and heading back home or risking a tow or ticket by parking in residential areas instead.

Everyone who drives themselves to school knows the pain of the school parking lot: an oversold lot, tickets, parking passes, and more. Mary Bayne is an assistant principal, and one of her jobs is safety and security.

“We always monitor the parking lot and the number of passes sold. When the lot starts to fill up or gets closer to capacity, we no longer sell parking passes,” Bayne said.

Earlier in the year, the administration announced as much– and by not selling any more parking passes, the administration is leaving kids with new cars or those borrowing a car for the remainder of the year stranded and struggling to get to and from school. In and of itself, this statement is frustrating in its vagueness and leaves students with no solutions.

The nearly oversold lot has meant not being able to make it to class on time, as well as not being able to make it to classes for the rest of the day.

“I missed first hour and half of second hour because I was at a doctor’s appointment. When I got to the school, I drove around it twice looking for a spot and I got the very last one in the C lot, which was only because someone else had pulled out of the spot,” junior Payton Stone said.

Junior Carson Bishop has had similar problems with the lack of parking:

“I got to school late-ish and went to park near the English hallways because there’s usually a ton of spots. They were all taken and one car was coming down while I was turning in by the last spot,” Bishop said. “I waited for them to pass, but they wanted the spot too. The person behind me also had their blinker on, but the first person couldn’t get in because I was in the way, so I turned in and took it. I’ve never seen it so bad.”

The office has asked students who aren’t familiar with the traffic flow or miss the directional signs to stop by an admin office for better help understanding the lot, but this doesn’t solve problems with the confusing traffic flow and direction, poor maneuverability, and narrow streets.

The back lot by the tennis courts is especially problematic: spots fill up too fast, students are more accident-prone due to congestion and new drivers, small roads, confusing traffic flow, and a near stand-still going in and out daily. 

While the administration failed to comment about the reason spots are being taken so quickly, it’s common belief among students that this is for a combination of two reasons: sophomore students starting to drive second semester and filling up the parking faster and an overhand-out of parking passes to begin with. 

Students have been asking for solutions to many of these problems, but the administration has only provided us with a review of the issues with no action taking place. Students hope for more parking spots, clearer directions to navigate the lot, and specific landing areas for parents and activities that otherwise clog the road and prevent entry and exit.

These solutions would help resolve the stand-off for spots in the morning, encourage attendance rates, help clear the afternoon traffic that little bit faster, and give parents and activities directors out-of-the-way spots to safely load and unload equipment without posing a risk to oncoming traffic.

Parking policies have not been changed since they were written. In other words, they have been kept the same since the day MN was first built. As the years continue and the cars in the lot continue to face the same issues, revisions need to be put in place to ensure the safety of students.

The Administration’s lack of answers and refusal to give a straight solution to all problems listed has been frustrating to everyone who relies on a spot. 

As it stands, we are dealing with old policies in a new age, and the parking lot population’s expectations are on the floor: any student who drives can attest to the desperate need for any reform, but it doesn’t look like any are coming. The future of the MN parking lot’s future looks as bleak as its cracked cement.