Parking Lot Op-Ed


Chapal Bhavsar

The madness of the afternoon lot is seen from the cars lining up on the grass medians and with students being forced to walk in the middle of the road.

Ridiculous. That one word perfectly conveys the parking situation that we have here at Danbury High School.

As many of you know, I love voicing my opinion, especially when things are going wrong for a good portion of the students. The parking lot has been my achilles heel since the first day of school. The utter madness that students have to engage in to leave the school at the end of the day is absolutely absurd.

The first point of contention I have with the parking lot is the absolute disorganization. Trying to leave the school at 2 p.m. is like trying to navigate through a maze with ten different variables. With no proper direction being given, there are kids walking all over the place, cars making their own lanes and parents hogging some of the most important passageways. The school has put in very little effort into fixing the parking lot behind the gym. From my parking spot, which is right next to the tennis courts, it takes me about 15 minutes or so just to get to the exit. 15 minutes to travel a whopping 300 feet is nonsensical. Cars do not move and there is very little organization for them to abide by. At any moment you will see parents pick up cars lining the sides of the one way exit road making it extremely difficult to pass. Not only that, they will try to push their way in front of you instead of taking the time to properly merge. I understand that this is a large school with many student drivers; however, the lack of effort that has been put into actually providing some sort of direction for these adolescent drivers is unacceptable. At the very least, the people responsible for the parking lot to fix the problem of disorganization should at least put up signs for lanes of travel or a few safety advocates to handle traffic.

The second point of contention I have is the lack of safety in the parking lot. I can count numerous times in the parking lot where parents have gotten too close for comfort or kids that have popped out like mall perfume spritzer from behind parked cars. Look I get it, the school might not want to place more resources at the parking lots just because of the student’s time that is wasted; however, this ignorance has led to safety issues. One of the places where safety ought to be ensured the most is when students take the left from the back student parking lot onto Beckerle St. That turn is basically a blind left turn. Cars going up to Clapboard Ridge block the driver’s view of the oncoming traffic, literally leading us to put our entire front ends into a lane of traffic to be able to see what is happening. A solution that I would propose to this issue is to add a police officer there to direct traffic and make sure an accident does not occur and for the parking lot itself to add more safety advocates to prioritize “safety.”

The third point of contention I hold is the traffic on Clapboard Ridge and Golden Hill Rd. The school has done nothing wrong here nor has the district. This is more of an infrastructure issue that the city has neglected for years. Golden Hill and Clapboard Ridge are both secondary roads with two lanes of traffic. There is no situation where that is the proper infrastructure to transport over 3,500 students and staff everyday to and from the high school. I live about 10 mins away from the high school on a normal summer day. That same commute to school takes 30 mins on a school day. That is absolutely ridiculous. The city has also made no effort to add a sidewalk on either of these roads to allow students who walk home a proper footpath. Kids are having to walk on the road or in the gutters of the street to get home which can only be described as preposterous. The city and/or state ought to take transformative action for these roads to provide proper traffic flow for cars and safety for students.

Our parking lots are situated on public property as they are part of the school yet we are obliged to pay for the right to use the public land. We pay this fee that is demanded of us yet we are faced with safety issues, overcrowded parking lots and horrendous traffic. I think it is time that a change be enacted for this and proper measures are taken to ensure this issue be fixed.