Is there a solution to the drop-off line debacle?


Illustration by Mackenzie Norris

School mornings are chaotic, as many students drive to school to savor the last few minutes of sleep before starting a stressful yet sluggish day. Cars flow in every direction as kids cross the street in unpermitted areas. An accident is just waiting to happen in the drop-off line and surrounding areas. Actions must be taken in a school with 2,944 students to make the drop-off flow more smoothly and safely. Unfortunately, with fixed parking spots and many cars, this is a challenge the community is still waiting for the administration to tackle.

As someone who would typically have a seven-minute drive to school, I have seen the drive go from seven minutes to 15 minutes with the snap of a finger. Although students arrive at school 15 minutes before the first-period bell, they still struggle to reach their first period by 7:45 a.m. In a cry for help and more time, students are dropped off before arriving at the designated drop-off area. An overcrowded and disorganized drop-off strategy causes chaos on Old Georgetown Road, Rock Spring Drive and surrounding areas.

Assistant Principal Jeff Leaman facilitates the drop-off area in the morning but can only control so much from the school’s sidewalk. Cars can go to limited places, with one entrance at the front of the school and the other in the athletic circle. Instead of staying in these lines reserved for student drop-off, adults have begun to drop their kids off at the Giant shopping center, creating traffic in the alleyway of Giant and DSW. This results in a cluster of students crossing the street between Giant and Rockspring Drive, thus more obstruction.

Crossing guards would be helpful to mediate this traffic and allow for a more organized system. Students would cross the streets in permitted locations, and cars would have rules to abide by, cultivating a swift drop-off line. If someone implements regulations and ensures students are kept in the middle of the line, there will be less congestion in the drop-off circle.

Even the student parking lot is overflowing with seniors attempting to find spots amidst the chaos of others being dropped off in the athletic circle. One solution to the overpopulation problem is to add additional parking to the school and open it to juniors and seniors. Unfortunately, because of restricted access to the student lot, juniors with their licenses continue to rely on parents to bring them.

Even with this restriction, seniors still require assistance finding parking spaces. An additional parking lot would allow more students to drive themselves to school instead of relying on others to bring them. This would reduce the drop-off line and enable fewer children to cross the street in unpermitted locations.

The population of students continues to rise, and the small student lot cannot be expected to keep up with these large numbers. To compensate for the restrictions and lack of spots, juniors find themselves parking on the street and praying they don’t get towed. As class sizes continue to rise, an additional student lot would be an investment for the school’s future.