Drivers Swerve Around Parking Rules
December 11, 2015
Filed under Opinion
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Blaring car horns and high tempers have been a common occurrence this year in Jamestown High School’s parking lot and neighboring road, Eagle Way. While school busses are available for students to use, students often choose to carpool, have parents drop them off, or simply drive their own vehicle to and from school each day. The large amount of vehicles present in the school parking lot, parent drop off loop and Eagle Way create hazardous situations for drivers before and after school.
The parent drop off loop has been one of the worst areas of traffic in the school parking lot this year. The layout of the student parking lot, combined with impatient student and parent drivers cause a dangerous environment each day. Drivers impatient of those who are slow to move in line have attempted to pass on the left inside the loop, causing issues with other cars who suddenly pull out in front of them.
Another problematic area for drivers this year has been along Jamestown’s neighboring road, Eagle Way. Those who park alongside the road to pick up their children after school create a narrow strip of road with little room to maneuver for student drivers as they leave the parking lot. Student resource officer Mike Ferriero said, “Get here sooner. If you’re not going to ride the bus that’s provided, get here earlier so you can go with the flow of traffic.” To make things worse, these areas are clearly labeled as ‘no parking’ zones, creating an even larger issue with breaking the laws of the road.
In addition, vehicles have also parked in the student parking lot and Jamestown Hundred, as well as cutting through the Williamsburg Community Chapel parking lot. While this could be a better solution to avoid the long lines and parking in no parking zones, cutting across private property to avoid a traffic control device is still illegal.
Although this problem is mainly affecting students, the school has taken steps to create a safer parking lot by adding new crosswalks to highly populated areas for students. Officer Ferriero has also moved his police car along the second lane in the parent drop off loop to keep drivers from passing one another and create a more predictable flow of traffic.
Standing in one of these added crosswalks is history teacher Craig Stevens, taking on the position of directing traffic. “I witnessed several near miss incidents. I began to patrol the traffic circle in front of the school to stop traffic so students could safely cross the intersection and enter the building,” said Stevens. Since Stevens has taken on this responsibility, the amount of students arriving later has decreased, the process of traffic has gone smoother, and students can now feel safer coming into school.
While these efforts have helped, the parking lot and Eagle way still prove dangerous for drivers. Enforcing the no parking zones along Eagle Way and continuing to monitor how parents enter and exit the school can help with the flow of traffic. Finally, all drivers entering Jamestown can soothe the situation by remaining level-headed and patient for their own safety and those around them.