Traffic jams in the student parking lot prove troublesome


Anthony Gose

The calm student parking lot minutes before the last school bell rings and chaos begins

With the return of half of the student body to campus, the Buena student parking lot has had it’s spaces filled, and clearing out cars after school hours has proven troublesome. With only two exits, and sometimes only one open, filling more than one hundred cars out of the parking lot and onto the road can amount to wait times of half an hour. Combined with impatient drivers, students find themselves stuck for several minutes at a time.

The Buena student parking lot has an abundance of places to park, and easily holds all cars for Buena drivers. However, the one way lanes can become narrow, and student’s attempting to reverse out of their space sometimes encounter difficulties.

“I almost got rear ended while backing out in the parking lot,” Junior Lexi Weinzimmer said. “Some drivers speed and others just don’t look before they go, so it gets unsafe sometimes.”

The main reason for the clogged parking lot is from the combination of the buses, parents, and students all entering the Wake Forest road at the same time as seen in the image to the left. There are a total of three exits with cars constantly flowing out of. Because the stoplight at the Telegraph and Wake Forest intersection is brief, cars pile up down the street, leading to cars in the Buena student parking lot getting stuck.
(Anthony Gose)

Alongside the narrow lanes, the pileup of cars and the traffic at the exits happens almost every day. Junior Celeste Ayala is one of many student drivers who find themselves stuck in the clogged parking lot after school. 

“I’ve been stuck waiting in the parking lot many times,” Ayala said. “It takes me about 10 minutes just to get out of the parking lot, and by the time I get home it takes around 30 minutes.” 

The long and tedious process of exiting the parking lot leads to many students becoming frustrated and impatient, sometimes making irrational and unsafe decisions while driving. Weinzimmer says that she’s been cut off multiple times and students just force themselves ahead, which potentially leads to dangerous accidents.

An alternate route that can save student drivers and parents some time is going through the neighborhood. Looking at the image on the right, if a student driver at Buena exits the parking lot at the red circle, they then turn into the neighborhood, and follow the path, where they can turn onto Telegraph and avoid the jam. (Anthony Gose)

“I would encourage other student drivers to be more considerate of others, because not everyone has the ability to easily fix their car if it’s damaged,” said Ayala. “Being considerate of others’ safety would greatly improve the atmosphere of the parking lot.”