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Parking Lot Congestion

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Parking Lot Congestion

Michael Rago

Michael Rago

Michael Rago

Michael Rago, Writer

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Loyola Academy Students and faculty members face a difficult problem when the school day ends and everyone attempts to leave the parking lot. When the last bell rings, students sprint to the nearest exit and rush to their cars to be the first one out of the parking lot. If the students are not the first cars out of the parking lot, then they could be stuck waiting for a long period of time before they can leave. This causes the students to drive aggressively when leaving the parking lot and have had some close call with pedestrians and other cars.

One student commented saying “It takes me 20-25 min at least if I’m lucky.”

The aggressive drivers can create a dangerous environment for cars and pedestrians as they try to leave the parking lot. Patrick Van, a Loyola student driver, stated “People could easily get into an accident if they rush out too fast or if they’re not paying attention.”

Students constantly cut each other off and some even ignore the crossing guards traffic signals in order to advance to the exit. Another student driver stated “The end of the day is a disaster. People are constantly cutting me off and I have a had a few close calls with other cars. I don’t think think they can fix it.”

Students are concerned that this issue will not be solved for a while and that the administration is not taking enough steps in order to alleviate the congestion. However, the administration is taking steps in order to improve the parking lot routine. Sula stated “The biggest flaw right now is the left turn arrow on the traffic light on Lake and Laramie. We are currently working with Wilmette authorities in order to have the left arrow let more people out.”

The main issue is that many of the students who park in the lot take the highway on their way home. The short left arrow causes the majority of the chaos. Some of the cars that are waiting to turn left block cars that are oncoming and even cars that are trying to get to the light.

The administration believes that the parking lot is running as best as it can at the moment. Executive Vice President Dennis Stonequist commented on the situation via email saying “Right now we are still in a learning phase and we all have to be patient. We have introduced a whole new pick up and drop off patterns, new parking options, as well as new exit procedures. These changes will take time to become the new normal, so there is a learning curve. I do think these changes will result in safer parking lots for pedestrians and better efficiency in Loyola Academy’s traffic plan in the long term.”

Mr. Stonequist also stated that administration has put more security guards and volunteers in the lot in order to keep drivers and students safe during the afternoon. “It is when people do not follow the patterns and let frustration take over that we see increased speeds or people creating potential safety concerns. In order for the lot to be safer and more efficient, following the patterns and rules of the road is imperative.”

 

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