The Student News Site of Paschal High School

Pantherette

The Student News Site of Paschal High School

Pantherette

The Student News Site of Paschal High School

Pantherette

Forest Park Frenzy: Paschal Traffic Plagues Morning Drop-off

Traffic+backup+in+front+of+the+student+parking+lot+prevents+student+drivers+from+quickly+accessing+their+parking+spots.+%28Photo+taken+at+8%3A10+AM+on+November+29%2C+2023%29
Maya Perez
Traffic backup in front of the student parking lot prevents student drivers from quickly accessing their parking spots. (Photo taken at 8:10 AM on November 29, 2023)

Paschal students and parents have grown all too familiar with the daily struggle of navigating the 8:00 am rush at drop-off. Berry and Forest Park have always been busy streets. However, recent changes to the entrance of the building and an earlier starting time have worsened the preexisting congestion for students arriving to class. 

 

“Everyone’s honking at each other. It’s overpacked, and you’ll always be late no matter how early you get here,” says a Paschal parent.

 

Parents have resorted to dropping off their children at nearby places, such as the Dutch Bros and Whataburger across the street from Paschal, to evade the traffic. While loopholes like this make drop-off quicker for some, students who cross the four-way intersection to get to campus slow the traffic flow. 

Simplified aerial map of the Paschal campus and surrounding streets. Created with Canva by Penelope Maddox and Maya Perez

Vice Principal and Dean of Safety and Security, Mr. Swanson, attributes the front congestion to students crossing the street from West Bowie

 

“The backup starts when students have to cross, then cars have to stop and wait for students because the cars that are dropping students off have a priority to cross the street.”

 

The compounding traffic issue has left parents desperate for quick solutions. It didn’t take long for parents looking for a break from the long lines in the front to turn to the student parking lot behind the school. 

 

“The morning in the front is awful. But now that we come back here, it’s quicker, and we try to make it quicker because we know it’s student parking. When we do drop-off in the morning, she’s always been tardy. Once we started using this lot, she got to class on time”, said another parent driver.

 

However, school policy prohibits parents from using the student lot for morning drop-offs, and the extra cars have brought similar traffic conditions for student drivers who paid to be permitted to park in the lot.

 

Senior Sheridan Brockelman is one of the students who says the parent traffic in the parking lot has interfered with her ability to get to school on time. “It takes a lot longer to actually get to my parking spot, which can end up making me late for class because people will constantly stop and go in the middle of the street to drop off their students because they are parents and not students. It just causes a ruckus, and it’s annoying.”

 

Despite the posted signage, parents have continued to use the student parking lot as an alternative drop-off spot, causing tension between student drivers and parents. 

“No student drop off or pickups in parking lot” sign posted outside the entrance of the teacher and student lots. (Maya Perez)

“I’ve tried to talk to parents, but they just don’t listen. We’ve put out messages to parents; they just don’t listen. They just do what’s beneficial for them”, said Vice Principal Swanson.

 

Mr. Swanson advises frustrated student drivers to “adjust your time” to account for the parent traffic in the lot. He also noted that parent drop-off in the student lot would be much less problematic if parents came before 7:40 while the gate on Frazier and West Berry is open. 

 

Additionally, the influx of parent drivers in the morning has increased spiteful interactions between students and parents. Senior Violet Doeren says she was approached by an angry parent one morning while she was on her way to soccer practice. The exchange transpired after Doeren “rolled through” the second stop sign while entering the sophomore lot behind a parent driver. Doeren recalls that after she parked, the parent driver “pulled up and banged on my window” and began to scold her for “driving like a maniac.” As the exchange continued, Doeren says the parent driver repeatedly threatened to call the police, exclaimed she should hit her, and took pictures of her license plate. 

 

 

Shortly after the mom left the scene, Doeren says she received a call from her dad, who had been notified of her encounter by the campus police. The following day, Doeren alleges the same parent reported her to campus police for “reckless driving” but “hadn’t even seen her that day.” 

 

While voluntary earlier arrivals and single-direction traffic measures west of campus may mitigate Paschal’s traffic issues, viable solutions do not appear in the immediate future.

 

1
View Comments (1)
Donate to Pantherette
$890
$1000
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Paschal High School - TX. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

About the Contributors
Maya Perez, Editor
Maya Perez (12) is a co-editor and reporter for the Pantherette. This is her second year on newspaper staff, and she hopes to write more current event content. Besides newspaper writing, she spends her time leading Paschal JSA and Feminist Club.
Penelope Maddox, Editor
Penelope Maddox (12) is a co-editor for the online and printed Paschal Pantherette. This is her second year on staff and she is eager to focus on the behind-the-scenes aspect of running an online paper. She is an avid reader who loves chai lattes, overalls, and linguistics.
Donate to Pantherette
$890
$1000
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (1)

The Paschal Pantherette intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, inclusive discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or slander. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Pantherette does not allow anonymous comments, and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All Pantherette Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • D

    Dominic HensonJan 23, 2024 at 8:30 am

    The roads should belong to the pedestrian rather than the cars so really they’re the ones getting in the way of the people crossing

    Reply