Student Parking Lot Needs Work

Colten Graham, Staff Reporter

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There is a very big change coming to the Los Banos High School campus.

The change I’m referring to is the soon to be red zone extending from Madison to Page Avenue, or the side of the school where all of the cows are. The reason for this new red zone is the traffic in the morning and the safety of students crossing the road.

I believe that this is the wrong course of action to solve this issue. If there are no cars on that side of the road, parents will continue to use the area to park and drop their children off in the mornings or pick up in the afternoons.  Traffic will still exist at both times of the day. 

Also, roughly 40 students park on the 11th street each day.  Where are these students going to go?  What if they don’t have a parking permit and did not want to pay for one?  

According to Principal Gurgen, the back gate is also a safety hazard along with the exposed teacher parking lot, given the new wave of school related incidents  involving break ins and damages done to the campus.  The plan is to put a red zone down 11th, add a “student drop off zone,” and shut the back gate during school hours.

The student drop off zone seems like a flawed plan given that in all likelihood, parents will simply pull to the side wherever and drop their kids off, still resulting in kids crossing the road, and then there will be parents pulling out of the drop of zone causing traffic to worsen.

The policy change is due to a new company in the district hired to conduct safety inspections. In my opinion, I think the back gate should be closed in the morning, and every student should enter through the front entrance. Then open the back gates for students at lunch. That would solve the issue of kids crossing 11th Street to enter the gate and less students would park on the side as well, without completely eliminating the only free parking we have at the school.

Let’s look at another part of this equation:  the student parking lot.  Let’s be honest the student parking lot is a war zone. You don’t want to add another 40 vehicles to the mosh pit that is our parking lot. Half of the parking lots have no painted stalls; and the closer half is so packed with cars,  no one can get in or out safely.  According to administration, there are no future plans to make any changes to the student parking lot.

In addition, there is no clear way for traffic to flow either as students enter and leave the lot.  And then there is the issue of parents. The  student parking lot is for students, not staff or parents. But as of right now, faculty park there and also parents drop their students off. This leads to a very cramped space in the mornings with significant traffic.

There needs to be many more reforms before students are surrounded by additional students trying to park in the lot.  I encourage administration to take a look at the parking situation in the morning and after school and make some decisions to assist students in this parking dilemma.


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