Paved Paradise

By:  L.

If you’ve ever been at, or even near Jefferson after school, you know that it is, for lack of a better word, a zoo.

Our minuscule parking lot just can’t cope with the hundreds of antsy middle-schoolers who escape our prison-like buildings like a raging torrent every day. The parking lot is really a survival zone for both students and parents/chauffeurs.

I try to avoid the parking lot at all costs after school, but when I do have to venture into the depths, I feel like the frog in some sick game of Frogger. It can’t be easy for parents either, dodging countless children, and having to deal with the inevitable “road rage” that comes with the ridiculous number of cars crammed into a very small space. Our parking lot, it seems, simply isn’t big enough to accommodate the flood of cars that occupy it every afternoon.

I’ve heard from several parents that most schools have bigger parking lots than Jefferson’s, even elementary schools. I don’t know about you, but to me, that makes no sense. As I think back on it, my elementary school had fewer than half of the students that Jefferson has and yet the parking lot was roughly the same size.

Now, I’m sure that in 1939, the founding fathers of Jefferson Middle School weren’t planning as far ahead as 70 years and, even if they were, couldn’t possibly have known how many students the school would have. Keeping this in mind, it seems Jefferson is just too close to Girard to get any more parking space in the front of the school.  So… we need the next best thing:  parking space in the back of the school.

We have a ridiculously large amount of dirt between the field and the patio. I’m going to go ahead and take an educated guess that more than 60% of that space goes unused on any given day. Don’t get me wrong, that space is important. Without it, where would we play kickball during P.E.?

I’m not suggesting taking the whole area away from us students, but a portion of it could surely be converted to a staff parking area. With the extra parking, the front parking lot could be designated to be only an after school pick-up area.

Regardless of solution chosen, there has to be a better way than what we are currently doing. I don’t even want to tell you how many kids run across Girard and jump into their parent’s cars in the middle of the street. In all honesty, that’s the most efficient way at the moment. It almost seems safer than trying to navigate through the treacherous parking lot.

The situation is worst on Fridays. It is truly terrifying to be surrounded by that many people in large cars trying to exit as fast as possible. Parents are getting extremely stressed by the whole ordeal. We need a real change, or someone is going to get seriously hurt and let’s face it, one guy with a whistle just isn’t going to cut it.

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