The Charger Account

Two Thousand Students, Two Parking Lot Exits

Traffic+accumulating+in+the+student+parking+lot+on+Wednesday+afternoon.+Students+continue+to+speak+out+over+the+lack+of+organization+in+the+parking+lot%2C+especially+on+Wednesdays+when+all+students%2C+including+athletes%2C+are+attempting+to+leave+at+the+same+time.+
Traffic accumulating in the student parking lot on Wednesday afternoon. Students continue to speak out over the lack of organization in the parking lot, especially on Wednesdays when all students, including athletes, are attempting to leave at the same time.

Traffic accumulating in the student parking lot on Wednesday afternoon. Students continue to speak out over the lack of organization in the parking lot, especially on Wednesdays when all students, including athletes, are attempting to leave at the same time.

Photo credit: Jaden Gill

Photo credit: Jaden Gill

Traffic accumulating in the student parking lot on Wednesday afternoon. Students continue to speak out over the lack of organization in the parking lot, especially on Wednesdays when all students, including athletes, are attempting to leave at the same time.

By Jaden Gill, Editor-in-Chief

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1,000 upperclassmen, hundreds of parents, and two parking lot exits, or what most students consider the source of mass traffic jams each day after the Dos Pueblos High School dismissal bell sounds.

As the horns begin to honk, students start their engines in a race to join the line of waiting cars attempting to leave campus. Seniors have begun to speak out against the lack of organization and sheer chaos that many feel is present in DP’s student parking lot.

DP senior Max Raphael recently protested the disarray he and others must deal with before and after school at the October Student Senate meeting. Raphael views underclassmen parents as the primary cause of the parking lot mayhem.

“Nearly everyone I know has almost been hit by parents who try to sneak through the parking lanes going 15 miles an hour,” Raphael said. “When I was a freshman, my parents picked me up across the street, so the student parking lot didn’t get clogged up.”

According to DP Campus Supervisor Fernando Espinosa, the school does not discourage parents from dropping off or picking up their children in the student parking lot because it is less adverse than parents using the staff or engineering parking lots.

“We do discourage the parents from being in the other parking lots here, but they can pick the kids up in the student lot,” Espinosa said. “The traffic is typical, but it’s really beyond students control. You’re looking at traffic on Cathedral Oaks and then also on Alameda.”

Whether it is the structural design of the lot, or the abundance of parents in an area meant for students, there have been an overwhelming amount of complaints from upperclassmen, especially regarding the after school traffic on Wednesday.

Fortunately, those who have sports during 6th period leave slightly after the rest of the student population on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, shortening the 15+ minutes students spend waiting in the parking lot as the traffic clears.

However, due to DP’s Block Schedule, on Wednesday afternoon, the athletes leave at 3 pm as well. This means that every DP student who routinely drives to school attempts to leave out of one of two exits, all within the same few minutes.

DP senior Diego Carbajal has directed traffic along with other leadership students in the morning before school starts, but views Wednesday afternoons as the primary root of complaints.

“On Wednesdays it’s such a pain to get out because everybody tries to leave at the same time and there are only two exits,” Carbajal said.” It’s all because we only have periods one, three, and five.”

Multiple solutions have been thrown around; Raphael urges freshmen and sophomore parents to pick up their children off campus, while others have decided to avoid the student parking lot altogether.

DP senior David Lysak has parked in the neighborhoods near DP since the school year started in an attempt to eliminate the hassle of leaving the student parking lot, but this causes other problems as it takes time to walk from his car to school in the morning.

“I park off campus and that means that it takes longer to get to my first period, so I’m late all the time,” Lysak said. “I can’t park on campus, which would mean less tardies because if I do that I’ll be late to work after school.”

This is a loophole many students opt for to avoid the rush at 3 pm, but it makes keeping tabs on these students a little more complicated.

“If the neighbors are okay with kids parking in their neighborhoods, we can’t stop kids from parking anywhere,” Espinosa said. “It’s just when they leave campus when they’re not supposed to there’s an issue there, but we’re always looking and we know when kids choose to park off campus.”

While DP cannot easily add a third exit or regulate the entry of parents, efforts have been made to promote safety and efficiency in the student parking lot. The leadership class has tried directing traffic on busy mornings, and students have found unique ways to avoid the time-consuming maneuver through the thousands of vehicles as they rush to after-school commitments.

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