Traffic Buildup

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

This school year, many issues have arose concerning the parking and overall buildup of traffic in the high school parking lot. For years, the matter of how to dissipate traffic near the high school has been up for discussion, but this year in particular it has come to many people's attention that it is a necessity for this problem to be fixed. With the combination of one of the biggest senior classes to go through Chatham and the largest freshman class to ever enter the high school, the traffic buildup is at an all time high. There are concerns of all kinds, for this affects many people such students, parents, and even faculty in the high school.

Lafayette Ave

A big issue that has erupted for the students is the lack of parking for seniors. An immense amount of students who applied for either a spring or fall parking spot were denied and put on a waiting list because all of the spots were already taken. Senior, Jack O'neill said, “I mailed my forms in before school started, which I assumed was on time, but then I got an email back informing me that I was on the waiting list.” Jack is one of many students who are not going to get the privilege to park in the senior lot this school year due to the “first come-first serve” basis. Many students who do not get a spot resort to parking in the “J-lot” (Parking lot near Colony Pool) or on the street of Longwood. But there are a few issues, the “J-lot” is a decently far walk from school, so for many it cuts off a lot of time to wake up and get ready in the morning, as well as the fact that it can make many students late to class from the pure distance it is from the school. Next, parking on Longwood has a few detrimental restrictions; You cannot park on the street until after 11 am and you can only park on the one side of the street or else you will get a ticket. The new rule of only being able to park on one side of Longwood has further restricted the parking for students, and for many, it has been detrimental for some students were not aware of the rule and received summons for parking.

Next, it has recently come to the attention of the parents in the school district of how dangerous it really is to just simply drop your child off at school. School starts at 7:40 am every morning and at around 7:25 am the traffic starts to build up for the single drop off line at school. For many, the street of Lafayette is apart of their morning commute so most are not going to sit in the drop off line for the high school. In response drivers have started to make a third lane, driving on the double yellow lines, when going down Lafayette. Many of these “third lane drivers” are students of CHS pulling into the senior lot. Not only is this very dangerous, but many of these drivers are not going the speed limit and really do not take into account of just how many pedestrians are around them. I got a chance to talk with a resident who lives on Lafayette avenue, and they said that the traffic build up has been the same way for years now, and that it is a problem that is truly “out of their (my) hands.” Recently, there has been a lot of parents complaining about this problem, resorting to Facebook for suggestions and to connect with other parents on how to fix this issue. Many people are demanding that the “Safe Route to Schools” committee set in and address the issue before something drastic happens. The “Safe Route to Schools” committee is a group of parent volunteers who have devoted their time to making the streets safer for children going to and from school. They have done projects such a procuring the grant for a sidewalks on Lafayette avenue.

The traffic build up for Chatham High School has become a pretty big issue that many feel needs to be fixed immediately. With the school number growing every year, the traffic build up is just going to get worse and worse. Many citizens are becoming quite restless and are demanding a solution to the problem.