Student Parking Lot: An Op/Ed

Kya Gooch, Reporter

Student drivers – don’t count on saving much gas money this school year. The single entrance and exit to the student parking lot will leave you waiting upwards of twenty minutes before you can make it out. Although some students can avoid the traffic by going to CAPS, Lewis and Clark or taking an early release or late start, the majority of students end up stuck in the parking lot all morning and afternoon.

Some students choose to run from their classrooms as soon as the last bell rings at 2:20 to try and be the first one out of the parking lot and avoid the traffic. Others are already exhausted from a seven hour school day and wait around for the traffic to die down before attempting to exit the parking lot. But most students get stuck in traffic due to only having one way into and out of the parking lot.

The safety concern here is students mindlessly rushing to get out of the parking lot before others – as the others are making their way to their cars. This is not the students fault though, the issue is that everyone wants to get home. You cannot make teenagers sit through seven hours of classes after they’ve barely slept and expect them to carefully and patiently wait to exit the parking lot after school.

Another safety issue is car accidents. 16 to 19 year olds have the highest risk of getting into a car accident. 35 percent of teens admit to texting and driving daily, which increases the chance of a car accident by 23 times. 20 percent of all car accidents in the country happen in parking lots. All of these things are mixed together in the Timberland student parking lot, so you can imagine the concerns with safety here.

Students of Timberland would be more than willing to participate in fun fundraisers or “pay $1 to wear a hat” days to help create a second way into or out of the parking lot. For now, as you race the other hundreds of students to get out of the parking lot first, consider risk reduction strategies.