Parking Problems

Parking Problems

Maggie Hayes

By Staff Editorial, H.B. Plant High School

With limited space and a congestion of cars, arriving and leaving school has become a time-consuming struggle for student drivers. What should be a simple, quick commute from parking lot to street is now difficult and troublesome. The parking lot will not expand anytime soon, so instead, actions can be taken to efficiently drive to and from school.  

During the morning, both parents and students can enter through the Dale Mabry Highway entrance. While parents are instructed to continue driving so they drop off their children at the drivers’ range lot, some choose to drop off their children in the student parking lot. This causes an unnecessary build-up of cars in a lot with already limited space as well as Dale Mabry Highway.  

“If they continue to drop the kids off behind the gymnasium, then they back up all the people who are trying to get off of Dale Mabry onto campus and now you have Dale Mabry backed up for the people who are trying to get down Dale Mabry,” assistant principal Napoleon Wade said.  

The inevitable overcrowding is especially detrimental to students who may be late to class because of it.  

Besides the issue of efficiency, too many cars in the parking lot present a safety problem. Unregulated traffic puts crossing pedestrians at risk; it only takes one careless driver to seriously injure or kill someone.  

Yet another problem with the student parking lot is the parking spaces themselves. In the dirt spaces, lines are faded beyond visibility or simply don’t exist. Moreover, these spaces become muddy after storms, motivating some students to park horizontally so they can avoid getting dirty. As a result, the next spot over is unable to be used due to a lack of enough space for another car.  

On the bright side, administration is already taking action to resolve issues with the dirt spaces. These spaces will soon be paved with seashells to avoid the messiness of mud after frequent storms.  

“Plant High is a unique situation because we’re smack dab in the middle of a major city area,” Wade said. “We are blocked off by Dale Mabry, Himes, a whole bunch of homes…there’s no room for expanding, so we have to work with the space that we’re given.” 

More actions, however can be taken: parking spaces should be properly marked in areas without lines. Any kind of marking will give student drivers an indication of where to park and when they are taking up two spaces.  

Parents need to be aware that they should drop off their children at the drivers’ range rather than near the gymnasium. In addition to this, they should also consider dropping off or picking up their students from the other two entrances of the school.  

These entrances include the front gated one on Himes Avenue or the entrance off San Miguel Street at Sterling Avenue. Additionally, traffic around and inside the student parking lot needs to be regulated more efficiently to avoid possible collisions with either other cars or pedestrians.  

By taking the aforementioned actions, the student parking lot will run much more smoothly, allowing students and parents to come and go with minimal troubles.  

This story was originally published on The Pep O’ Plant on September 28, 2018.