Larger Enrollment Means Larger Headaches for JMS Parking

Editor’s Note:  Students in Mr. Key’s Language Arts class recently completed a newspaper story assignment in which they covered a story concerning life at Jefferson MS. Today’s story is the third in a series that we will reprint here.    Enjoy!

by Kyle R.

At Jefferson Middle School there has always been a problem with the traffic in the drop off and pickup area. Traffic in the mornings and after school is very hectic. There are too many people driving in and out to ensure safety and this daily overcrowding is very stressful for both parents and students.

Jefferson currently has over 900 students enrolled, including a large number of transfer students who must be dropped off by parents/guardians instead of taking the bus.  This means even more traffic and congestion at around 8:10 and 3:05 each school day.

As a result of the amount of traffic at Jefferson, several parents are dropping their kids off across Lomas Boulevard and having the student cross Lomas on their own. The kids that cross the street don’t seem to care and/or are too lazy to cross the street at the proper crosswalk.  Not crossing at the crosswalk, i.e., jaywalking, is very dangerous and can end in serious or fatal injuries. “Students could follow all rules with parents support by not getting into cars off Girard, and not jaywalking across Girard and Lomas,” says Pamela Meyer, Jefferson Middle School principal.

            This problem is not just bad for Jefferson students and staff.  It is also a hazard for daily commuters and college students that live in the area of the school.  It takes almost twice as much time to get through the area than on the weekend when the area is not very crowded.

Albuquerque Public Schools is a huge part of the problem. APS is very important to the school because the school cannot do many repairs on their own. The school has to go through APS, which takes weeks or even months to do the simplest of repairs. Bond projects are voted on and are granted to many schools. “The bond projects need to be done in a more prompt matter instead of voting on something in one year and it taking five or more years to complete the projects,” says Michelle Ruth, a concerned Jefferson Parent.

The problem has been present for many years. And eventually, the APS community agreed to help remodel the parking lot. Principal Meyer has been working with APS to hasten the process, and tells us “APS has an approved bond that is set to deliver a new service loop road which would lead cars from the back of the school on and off of Lomas instead which would alleviate the problem.  Construction is set to begin in 2015.”

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