Staff Editorial: The Problem With The Parking Lot


Tyler Moore

Students and staff face many challenges exiting the parking lot such as buses, unclear lanes, and other drivers.

While many things at North are amazing, we have noticed one very big issue: the North parking lot. To put it simply, it’s a mess. With only two exits, the lines into and out of the parking line can become long and congested. 

One issue we have noticed is the lack of lane clarity. So often we see students going the wrong way down the one-way lanes. People: the giant arrows are there for a reason! One solution that could help solve this problem is to angle the parking spots. By making this simple change, it automatically directs traffic in a certain direction. 

It also annoys us when we have to wait behind cars dropping off students in the wrong lanes. Only the front two lanes should be used for dropoff; otherwise, it holds up those trying to find a parking spot. We think by clearly labeling the dropoff lanes it could help direct the flow of traffic and prevent backups.

Another common cause of backups is inexperienced drivers making poor driving decisions. We see students on their phone, blasting their music, honking their horn (which frankly is a whole different issue; seriously, you don’t need to honk your horn everyday. It’s just annoying.) and talking with their friends. All of these distractions are preventing students from focusing on their driving, causing many accidents, both in the parking lot and surrounding roads. While we can’t offer any solutions to force students to drive better we can ask that students focus on their driving a little more. The less accidents, the quicker you’ll make it out of the parking lot and the less likely it is you’ll end up on @scnparkinglot.

The parking lot only has two exits, one on Red Gate and the other on Route 31. The Red Gate light isn’t green for very long, causing few cars to get out at once. Additionally, the exit on Route 31 does not have a stop light and cars can only turn right out of it. This makes the parking lot congested with long lines of cars all waiting to get out at the same time. It also leads to students making illegal left turns onto Route 31 putting themselves and others at risk. 

The parking lot during the day is always full. (Laure Schulders)

While we recognize that North and the district can’t do much about the length of the green light and the right turn since the City of St. Charles is in charge of them, we feel like there could be other steps taken that don’t require municipal involvement.

One simple solution that North could implement is to release the buses five minutes later than they do currently. Right now the buses leave exactly 10 minutes after the final bell rings. This causes problems as students race to their cars and try to leave the parking lot before the buses so as to not get stuck behind them. This causes students to rush and drive unsafely. By releasing the buses a mere five minutes later than they do now it would give students more time to leave the parking lot safely, and provide bus riders more time to grab their things. But, this could cause more issues since buses run on a tight schedule due to elementary and middle school ending times.

While we recognize that all of these solutions can’t logistically happen and many of them would require approval from district administration, we ask that North and the district consider potential changes to improve the traffic flow.