Efforts by Administration and Petitions by Students Work to Reduce Traffic

SJHHS+is+currently+accommodating+around+3%2C000+students.+This+large+number+has+led+to+traffic+congestions+in+the+parking+lot+before+and+after+school.+

Nikki Iyer

SJHHS is currently accommodating around 3,000 students. This large number has led to traffic congestions in the parking lot before and after school.

Nikki Iyer, News Editor

SJHHS currently has around 3,000 students on campus. As expected, 3,000 students in a one way in, one way out parking lot has not gone over well with students and parents. 

“Because we have more students, there’s more people driving. Also I think because people aren’t used to coming to school like regular school times now so that’s why it was a little bit more crowded. It’s getting better, everyday it gets better,” said assistant principal Brian Brosamer. 

However, in an email traffic update email from Principal Manoj Mahindrakar, he mentions that the driveway is empty five minutes before the first bell, and the parking lot is usually clear 35 minutes after the ending bell

Parents and students may have noticed this significant improvement compared to the beginning of the year, as administration works to combat the issue.

Because we have more students, there’s more people driving. Also I think because people aren’t used to coming to school like regular school times now so that’s why it was a little bit more crowded. It’s getting better, everyday it gets better”

— Brian Brosamer

“We have worked with the County of Orange and they have adjusted the traffic lights to allow Stallion Ridge to exit in the afternoons from 60 seconds of green to 120 seconds of green.  This helps with the outflow of traffic in the afternoons,” wrote Mahindrakar. 

In addition, busses are now loading at the back of campus after school, giving more room for parent pick up in the driveway. Moreover, administration is working to let student drivers out of the main lot first, and parents into the school after.

In order to personally reduce traffic, administrators recommend parents enter the lot later than 2:45. 

“When you’re coming to pick somebody up, don’t feel like you have to be here right at 2:45. Wait a little bit. Wait until the traffic dies down. If you come here at 3:15, and wait thirty minutes before you pick someone up, that would really help. We have people sometimes that are waiting out there at 2:15, and it’s still going to take them 45 minutes to get out of here so it doesn’t make any sense,” said Brosamer.

However, students are also working to improve the traffic situation. Senior Shalini Sinha recently created a petition to reduce the traffic for student drivers.

Sinha, and her 200+ signers, believe that parents are rude to student drivers, as they allegedly cut students off and won’t let them back out of their spots. Students pay $100 a year to obtain a parking spot in SJHHS’s lot, so many believe that their wait time out of traffic should be reduced.

Because the parent car line after school is extremely backed up, some parents park their cars in empty student spots as early as 2:15, and wait there until their child gets out of school. In addition, some parents park their cars in student spots in the morning, so on occasion students may have to spend time reporting a parked car in their spot during school.

In the lanes that the parents leave out of, students have had issues with parents being deliberately ignorant of the traffic rules by not letting students back out of their spots, cutting them off in line, and getting ‘road rage’ to the point that they nearly hit students”

— Shalini Sinha

Students should not have to lose valuable education and money to parents trying to save five minutes dropping their students off to school,” wrote Sinha in her petition. 

Currently, after dropping off/picking up their student, parents can leave SJHHS out of the first couple parking lanes, instead of going around the lot.

“It is understandable that the school is doing its best to satisfy everyone, but this recent change in traffic rules [parents leaving through the first lanes] has drastically increased the time it takes to leave for students with parking spaces in the lots that are farther back, and really just students in general,” wrote Sinha. 

Sinha also mentions that students have had negative encounters with parents in the lot.

“In the lanes that the parents leave out of, students have had issues with parents being deliberately ignorant of the traffic rules by not letting students back out of their spots, cutting them off in line, and getting ‘road rage’ to the point that they nearly hit students,” wrote Sinha.

Senior Varshitha Selvarajan Uma finds that the large number of people in the lot and unfavorable interactions with parents has created a negative environment for students.

“Parents get so unnecessarily angry at students who are trying to get home or to work on time. It is so frustrating for students to have to deal with adults who don’t act like adults. I have to wait 45 minutes to get out of the school property, even if I run to my car and get ahead in line,” wrote Uma in a comment to the petition.

Sinha advocates that parents leave out of the last few lanes of the lot, instead of the first, and that SJHHS posts a public memo ensuring that parents are not utilizing student spots to pick up or drop off their child.

Usually, traffic will naturally improve as the school year progresses. But as of now, it looks as if changes will need to be made to keep our school flowing.