By: Jessica Melnikoff
Students who drive to school and park in the parking lot often have something to say about it. Between never getting a spot or the horrible traffic they experience trying to leave the parking lot every school day. Sometimes there isn’t enough parking for all the driving students and they have to either park on Woodmere or at the Westville Pool parking lot.
But how did this issue escalate? At the beginning of the year, there were a lot more parking spots and the traffic wasn’t as bad because most of the Juniors did not have their licenses yet. Of course, driving to school may be a lot easier for someone instead of getting a ride or parking in the Westville Parking lot. But should parking in the JCHS parking lot be a Senior privilege?
I recently made a poll asking 5 people from all grades and 5 teachers questions about the parking lot. As you can see in the photo above, 14/25 or 56%, of people would rate the parking lot traffic after school a 10, 10 being the worst. 76% of people said that parking in the JCHS parking lot should be a Senior privilege. Juniors could either park on Woodmere or in the Westville Pool Parking lot. A lot of other schools, West Essex for example, have their parking lot as a Senior privilege. Every Senior shares an assigned parking spot with another student. Juniors are not allowed to park anywhere at West Essex. If our parking lot was only available for teachers and Seniors, the Juniors would still be able to drive to school. This would also solve the majority of the traffic problems.
When asked about the amount of traffic before more Juniors began driving to school, 92% of people agreed that the issue was better before all of the Juniors started parking in the lot. Obviously, there are not enough parking spots which leads us to the next question in the poll. I asked if there should be more parking spots for students and 96% of people said yes. But, this is easier said than done. To create more parking spots for students, the school would have to create more space which is something that we do not have. The schools cannot turn teacher spots into student parking either because that would also not be reasonable or fair.
The trick about the parking lot is getting to school early enough. 92% of people said that there are hardly any spots when you arrive at school between 7:55-8:00. Unfortunately, getting to school 5-10 minutes early enough sometimes isn’t enough for a good parking spot. And there usually is not a lot of parking by that time anyways. Very few spots are open between 7:55-8:00. So chances are, if you are running a few minutes late to school, you probably won’t get a spot in the parking lot.
The JCHS parking lot would be a lot less crowded if only Seniors and teachers were allowed to park in it. This has been seen at the beginning of the year before most of the Juniors got their licenses and started parking in the lot. Making the parking lot a Senior privilege would make it easier for the Seniors and our teachers to leave school. More parking would also be available and overall, stress levels would go down.