Parking Lot Imposes Safety Hazards, Leads to New Regulations

Precautionary measures have been taken to reduce the risks of high traffic around the Warren High School parking lot requiring parents to drop off their students by 7:30 a.m., and students driving vehicles must be within the parking structure by 7:45 a.m.In addition, straggling students who enter the parking lot in vehicles will be required to identify themselves with their school identification card. Particularly this year, the chaos of students and vehicles weaving through the entrances and parking structure caused uneasiness amongst many, including the administrators. "We want to avoid and prevent any accidents," said Vice Principal Gilberto Rodriguez when asked why these regulations were being enforced. Rodriguez, head of the school safety at Warren, called these new regulations as procedural, and that they are being enacted with the best interests of the students' safety in mind. "Too many parents are dropping off their students close to 7:40 [a.m.], and not giving them enough time to make it to class," said Rodriguez. Truly, with approximately 4,000 students needing to arrive at school simultaneously, the traffic certainly does get hectic, and therefore dangerous. The rushing vehicles amidst the crowds of pedestrian students impose a safety hazard, as numerous accidents and incidents could potentially occur in such a congested area. Therefore, by regulating the time that vehicles can enter through the gates, "congestion will be reduced in the parking lot," said Rodriguez. "And students can travel faster to their classes without worrying about moving vehicles." In order to enforce these rules, both gates on Paramount Blvd. and DePalma Avenue will be closed after 7:30 a.m. However, the two pedestrian gates on both these streets will remain open for students. The regulations only apply to vehicles. Nevertheless, talk amongst the student population suggests that many believe these rules will not be carried out, or that if they are in the beginning of the school year, they will eventually cease to be enforced. Several students and parents disagreed about these regulations, and had negative comments on the subject. "I don't think it's a good idea because I think more kids will be tardy," said senior Natalie Bedran. "If a student happens to miss the gate, then they'd get into school even later than they normally would since the gates are closed off." Other students made comments such as Bedran's, and seemed upset about the new policy. In addition, several parents have also called the school office with complaints on the regulations. Above all, Rodriguez firmly believes that these regulations need to be enacted for the students' safety, and asks for parent and student compliance.

********** Published: September 18, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 22

NewsEric Pierce