Slippery Situation in the SPASH Parking Lot


Peyton Wanta

View of SPASH parking lot from inside of a vehicle on the morning of 12/16/22.

Peyton Wanta, Hour 2

Imagine you’re pulling into the school parking lot on a dark, very snowy Monday morning around 7:10am. When driving into the parking lot many drivers are recklessly driving alongside your car. When finally slowly approaching the lot where you normally park, it comes into realization that the only thing visible is blankets of snow covering the ground: no lines in sight. Once you finally decide on a spot it’s time to make the long slippery journey to get from your car to inside of school. This is the reality of many SPASH students during the winter and many students begin to honestly wonder if safety is even thought about anymore. The SPASH parking lot has many unseen safety issues that need to be addressed and resolved.

Two cars parked next to each other on 12/16/22, unable to see the line between them. (Peyton Wanta)

What Are the Problems?

First off, many students find the parking lot unsafe year round. Many students drive to school each and every day, which will inevitably cause damage to the pavement. The only problem with this is that the damage isn’t repaired. According to Troy Pallen, a SPASH junior who uses the parking lot daily highlights an issue: “I don’t tend to see any major potholes but there is a very large hole near the south entrance that often completely fills with water and can freeze, the north entrance has a lot of gravel issues and holes.” In other words, both student entrances/exits are damaged, which can lead to further congestion and damage to student vehicles. Another SPASH junior, Stephanie Lieske emphasizes: “The parking lines are very hard to see unless you are literally right on top of it.” Stephanie’s main concern was the difficulty of seeing the parking lines while trying to park in a crowded parking lot, it’s hard enough to park the way it is. Many lines have faded extremely due to strong weather conditions and get even worse throughout the winter. Not only is it hard to see the lines due to paint fading but the lack of lighting, Stephanie criticizes: “Who decided to put only two lights in the parking lot?”

View of SPASH parking lot from outside of a vehicle on the morning of 12/16/22.

Are Students Causing the Problem?

Secondly, students themselves tend to be the root cause of many problems in the parking lot. From a survey taken on November 17th, 2022 60 students filled out a long answer to the question “Do you believe the parking lot is well kept and why?” There were varied responses from anywhere between extremely dirty and very clean the ground is but also how faded the lines are. The largest complaint was how much trash is found on the ground due to students’ ignoring how easily they could throw away wrappers and other packaging. One student suggested that more trash cans could be spread out in the grassy separators between each lot section. This would reduce the amount of waste on the ground and encourage more students to throw things away. Troy noted that many times he had witnessed or heard about students doing donuts and driving recklessly that ends up in minor crashes. These reckless drivers tend to just drive as they please, not learning from their actions unless caught on rare occasions. Ms Domres, one of the adults in charge of watching  over the SPASH parking lot expressed her concern: “They can just slow down, especially at dismissal everyone is very rushed to get out as fast as possible. Everyone is irritated with the long lines to get out. It’s almost as if drivers just kind of forget how to drive; they just cut corners and other students off. Just relax and wait 5 minutes.” In other words, she believes many students cause each others problems. These small problems are what tend to escalate and cause minor collisions. 

How Can Students Improve?

Lastly, in the same interview taken on November 17th, 2022 there was one final question asked on what students themselves think could help fix these problems. The first one highlighted was the possibility of implementing a littering policy to help enforce students to pick up their trash but this would also mean a larger addition of trash cans. Another student suggested that drivers need to be more cautious of how they drive in the winter especially with so many new drivers, it was also mentioned that student drivers should be thought about when planning for snow days. Multiple students discussed the possibility of adding more speed limit signs throughout the different straight shot areas to prevent collisions. These same students also complained about the amount of times they were either cut off or almost hit by drivers speeding through on the correct or opposite side that they shouldn’t be driving on. The last large solution mentioned was checking how well you may have parked, staying inside the lines to enable other students to park in their lines to the car beside them. It only takes one person to park way over the lines to mess up a whole row of cars.

To bring everything together, the SPASH parking lot has many safety issues that need to be addressed and resolved. But it’s not only the administration that needs to look into fixing these problems but students as well. We can’t have a safe parking space without everyone working together and fixing the problems that are starting to accumulate.