Parking at Pennridge

Finding Solutions to the Ongoing Issue

Athletic parking lot traffic from Blooming Glen Rd.

Alexa Stachel

Athletic parking lot traffic from Blooming Glen Rd.

Pennridge High School proposed and ran a two-week trial to implement a new morning drop-off for parents. This two-week trial determined whether changing where parents and teachers entered the parking lot for parking and drop off would create a smoother and more efficient morning for students and parents for those who drive to school. This attempt at changing the drop-off has had positive and negative feedback from students, parents, and staff within the high school.

The new trial changed where parents could enter through either the upper or lower entrance into the school from Blooming Glen Road. When parents entered, they were allowed to drop their students off at the student parking lot as well as where they initially dropped their children off, in the staff parking lot in front of the white gym. For students driving and parking in the athletic parking lot, they were only allowed to enter the school through the upper entrance coming off Blooming Glen Road.

The new trial affected students who had parking spots on the athletic side of the school. Because parents were allowed to drop their students off in the designated student lot, it created a lot of traffic and confusion in the student parking lot for both parents and students. Many students expressed how parents were blocking their spots and pulling into student spots while letting their children out of the car or delaying the flow of traffic overall. This caused many students to be late to the first period once the trial began. For Armand Omurzakov, a senior at Pennridge High School who parks in the athletic lot, the new trial created many problems during his mornings. Omurzakov believes being marked late to first period is “…unfair because we have to wait for all the parents to clear out of the lot.” The new trial forces students to leave their homes even earlier to ensure they are on time for school and can beat parent traffic.

For the Staff, there was a more positive outlook on the changes to the system in the mornings. Michael Dertouzos, a social studies teacher at Pennridge, was opposed to the new trial at the beginning, but “once I figured out the best way to navigate the new flow of traffic, I actually liked the new trial.” He saw the positive that parent traffic was broken up between two entrances rather than one. This allowed teachers to enter the school with less parent traffic and fewer parents in the staff parking lot. In general, the parking lots at Pennridge have always been a hot topic. Between the parental traffic and student parking issues, there is always something to discuss with this topic. Dertouzos favors “trying these new scenarios to see what the outcomes are and what positives and negatives result from them.”

Some suggestions have been to increase student parking, so more students can park at school, limiting the number of students getting dropped off. It has been suggested to make the athletic parking lot larger by expanding into the fields behind it and allowing students to choose a parking spot based on their schedule, extra circulars, and where they live, which determines where they enter the school. This would lighten traffic because students could enter the school through the most practical parking lot based on where they live and when they enter. Pennridge is attempting new ways to help everyone have the most efficient way of dropping off or parking at the school. Through these attempts, there will be some expected failures, but hopefully, through trials like this, there will be a way to make it happen in the near future.