Centurions Find Parking Lot Conditions Challenging


photo by Ruby Milburn

Campus security guard Marilynn Ramirez directs traffic while trying to get students to class on time.

by Ruby Milburn, Staff Reporter

Many of the students at Cypress High drive to school every day, along with teachers and other staff members. Thus, there is a lot of activity in the parking lot.  In the mornings, a security guard is usually monitoring drivers and pedestrians to make sure students get to class safely and on time.  However, after school there’s not always someone regulating the parking lot, although Mr. Sean Pfeiffer goes out when possible, leaving students to struggle as they try to get across the street and out of the lot.

So what’s the reason for all the traffic? In reality, many adult drivers make the parking lot experience more difficult than the students.  Parents park in areas which are meant for driving, to wait for their children, causing more traffic. Adults also accelerate through intersections without looking, forcing pedestrians to be on higher alert than usual as they try not to get hit.  Additionally, students and pedestrians cross the parking lot diagonally rather than using crosswalks, getting in the way of cars trying to drive out.  

One of the school’s security guards, Marilynn Ramirez, also voiced her concern for the students’ and drivers’ safety regarding kids crossing the street.  Ramirez stated, “students need to make sure they are using the crosswalk,” because many do not pay attention while crossing the street which becomes a big problem.  Proper use of the crosswalks after school will ensure the safety of both students and drivers in the parking lot.

In an interview with principal Dr. Kevin Hodgson, he commented that the school has been considering closing one of the gates after school so people can only exit through the main exit which will eliminate traffic jams.  Students have voiced that this would be a beneficial change for the parking lot, as it will prevent traffic jams.  This decision was recommended to the school by the city, who oversees traffic signals, including the one outside the school parking lot.  Although Hodgson wasn’t at the school before the new traffic signal was implemented, he’s heard great things about the addition of the traffic signal, and drivers feel like it was a helpful incorporation to the school.  

According to Hodgson, the school does its best to have an adult in the parking lot as much as possible, but security is not always available due to other needs.  Having a security guard is something that student drivers have also expressed would be helpful in keeping a better flow of traffic.  Student drivers would love to see a traffic monitor after school, such as senior Michael Natale who said, “there should be someone out there directing [traffic] because the flow is very unorganized.”

As the school year progresses and more students begin getting their licenses, the parking lot will continue to fill up.  However students and staff are doing their best to keep the lot running as safely and efficiently as possible.