By: Jaclyn Kotora, Editorial Staff ‘23
Recently there have been various safety concerns circulating among the Indian Hills community regarding pickup time with the influx of students and parents entering and exiting the campus. Students claim and observe that when picking up the students, parents have been parking on the sides of Yawpo Ave and blocking the student lot, causing numerous issues and anxieties among many students when exiting the facilities, especially when many of the students are inexperienced drivers.
The pickup situation is becoming increasingly dangerous to both parents and students alike, as one of our Indian Hills High School seniors already got into an accident because of these circumstances. Natalie Andersen describes the incident saying, “I had already pulled out of the senior lot and turned right onto Yawpo. Once I was there, there was a line of cars to pick up their kids extending into the street, and after waiting to make sure that no cars were leaving the line, I started to go around. As I was going around, a car started to pull out of the line not realizing that I was there and our cars hit each other. This all could have been avoided if students and passing cars did not have to go around a line of cars that is taking up half of the right lane.”
No doubt there is a lot of traffic after school making it difficult for people to pick up students. However, the price for easy, convenient, and speedy pickup should not come at the expense of safety. As the only way out from the student parking lot, parents should not be permitted to linger near the exit or park in the lot. Andersen continues to explain, “I do not believe that parents should be able to pick up in the student lot at this time because it makes it much more stressful and chaotic for students who are trying to leave at the end of the day…this is a big issue because it makes it very difficult to turn out of the senior lot, and is extremely dangerous for students to turn on to Yawpo in either direction.”
Students express that parents should not be allowed in the parking lot during drop-off and pick-up hours and should stick to the designated drop-off/pickup areas of the campus during these time periods. Kinjal Patel, a senior and member of the student council, comments on these issues saying, “I have already emailed Dr. Vacca about these issues. I believe it is the administration’s duty to inform the parents of these matters to ensure safety within the student parking lot and traffic during drop-off and pick-up hours. These safety concerns should be emailed to the parents directly, informing them to act responsibly.”
In past years, the school had police officers directing traffic during pickup and drop-off hours at the corner of Yawpo and the entrance to Hills, maintaining a level of safety and efficiency. However, this year there is not that regulation of traffic. Whether this is due to a lack of resources, officers, or finances is unknown, but perhaps the implementation of officer supervision could alleviate some of the current issues and anxieties. Additionally, there should be signs for no parking/no stopping or standing along the side of Yawpo, especially near the entrances and exits to the school.