One of many expectations of being a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is getting a parking spot in the senior lot. Many students look forward to knowing that they won’t have to walk from the junior lot in the heat during their last year. However, no one mentions how terrible it is trying to leave the senior lot.
Every day after the bell rings, seniors walk to their cars in the senior lot to exit the school. When attempting to leave there are also 349 other cars trying to get home as soon as possible, as well as students crossing the streets. It’s a hectic place and leaving requires being hyper-vigilant.
In addition, the exit separates into two lanes with one lane used to turn right and the other lane to turn left which is normally used to enter the senior lot. This is often not made clear to many.
The senior lot needs traffic controllers inside and outside telling pedestrians and cars where to go and when. A traffic controller in the senior lot could fix problems such as helping pedestrians find the right time to cross the street and help cars exit the lot in an orderly fashion.
The bus loop is much more organized and traffic controllers outside of MSD make sure that busses get in and out of the bus loop safely, pausing oncoming traffic so no accidents will occur. This is an example of how traffic controllers are able to maintain and control hectic environments involving motor vehicles and keeping it safe.
Obtaining a traffic controller should not be much of a struggle or cost. Traffic controllers could be volunteers for the school, which would not cost the school any money. Even if it did, crossing guards are worth it, as these traffic controllers would lower the risk of accidents happening in the senior lot.
According to Assistant Principal Daniel Most, three accidents occurred in the senior lot during the 2018-2019 school year.
Bringing in traffic controllers would only make the senior lot safer for everyone, whether it be administrators, student drivers or those walking home.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher in the age group of 16-19 and is three times more likely to result in a fatal car accident than those 20 or older. Teens are also more likely to underestimate or not recognize hazardous situations which make teenagers more of a liability with our vehicles, especially on a school property where 350 cars are parked in.
To be realistic, teenagers are unpredictable and more of a liability when it comes to cars. This unpredictability is only heightened in a space with too many cars and cramped roads with pedestrians walking across it. At the end of the day, the senior lot needs traffic controllers to ensure that all students make it home safely.