Opinion: Bellbrook’s Parking Lot Makes Me…

By: Morgan Sharbaugh

Seat belt? Check. BackPack? Check. Enough gas to get you the five miles to your house? Check. You are ready to go. Putting your car into drive, you attempt to move out of your parking spot to wait in post-school traffic. Trapped in the calm lines of escape, slowly inching forward as another car is allowed to turn left, you wait. Suddenly, horns blare, children scream, and some idiotic parent in a faux Jeep tears across the lawn and sidewalk in front of the school, paying no mind to the traumatized freshman who were simply walking home.

The school parking lot is a nightmare, and it’s all the parents’ fault.

Parents assume that since they have been driving for ten, twenty, thirty years, they know what’s going on and can navigate the parking lot properly. However, they assume incorrectly. The students have most recently taken their drivers’ education classes, being fully updated on new traffic laws and regulations, so they are more knowledgeable on how to act. The students tend to be more cautious for fear of losing their license, a common consequence to poor driving at their age, whereas parents would only need to pay a fine.

The students have a system. The cars in the long line go two at a time, patiently waiting and letting others go before them. They wave people forward when the coast is clear and go the speed limit. Things run smoothly, flowing like a stream. Then the parents step in. They hop in the pick up line and zoom right back out, cutting off those with the right-of-way, and disrupting the nice, polite student system, acting like a log, damming up the traffic patterns of the river that’s the parking lot.

The parents disrespect the school’s system as well. Mr. Hann, the school principal, arranged and organized the parking lots to best benefit the students. Those who stay after for sports tend to be in the back lot–the one closest to the athletic entrance. Those who turn right out of the school tend to be in the front lot. Students have assigned parking spots that they paid $50 for at the beginning of the school year. Parents are supposed to park in the visitor spots in the front lot. Parents enjoy parking in these student spots when they drop off their kids in the morning.  Parents sit on their phone in their cars, jabbering away until traffic dissipates. Students need to park in their spots when they arrive to get to class on time and sort themselves out for the day.

Once, when I was on my way home, I sat and waited in my parking spot for a chance to pull out safely. I thought the coast was clear, looking left, right, then left again. I pulled out, and immediately slammed on my brakes. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a big white truck cut through parking spots and park in the middle of traffic. His kid ran up and got in the car, and he drove away. This parent had no regard for standard parking lot safety.

Throughout the school year there have been five vehicular altercations in relative proximity to the school around release and start of the day. Only one of these was caused by a student. Even though a junior rear-ended a senior in the parking lot, the police were not called, no cars were totaled. Four non-students have caused crashes. One in front of the middle school, one at the intersection between Feedwire and Upper Bellbrook roads, and two directly in front of the high school. The crashes in front of the school were little fender benders, but the collision in the intersection required the police and paramedics’ assistance. The crash in the intersection caused a traffic back up, resulting in one of the crashes in front of the school.

Others like to blame students, saying that they are “novice” drivers. But alas, the parents prove to be the culprits to the disastrous traffic patterns. Due to being impatient and downright rude, the parents make the school parking lot a mess. Next time you drive through the parking lot at the end of the day, don’t shake your head and honk at the students. Take your time, utilize patience, and watch the parents narrowly avoid raises in insurance rates.

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