School transportation outlets plague community members

Before and After School Transportation Challenges

Crowded+Student+Parking+Lot

Photo by: Kyle Reeder

Crowded Student Parking Lot

The early mornings and mid-afternoons on school days have come to be especially challenging times to be on the road around Midlo. With the school’s location along the single-lane Charter Colony Parkway, traffic has always been heavy in the mornings and afternoons, but this year it is worse than normal because, with the bus driver shortage, parents have been encouraged to drive their students to school. This has resulted in hundreds of cars attempting to navigate the drop-off and pick-up lines at the same time, often resulting in a complete standstill for minutes at a time.

Before the clock even strikes 8:00 in the morning, the drop-off line stretches as far as the eye can see, moving at a snail’s pace. Many students do not get into the building until after the warning bell has rung, even if they are able to get in the line early. “I spend a total of 15-20 minutes in the lines every day,” sophomore Katelyn Kubyako said.

I spend a total of 15-20 minutes in the lines every day”

— sophomore Katelyn Kubyako

The drop-off line has become a traffic hazard for people who do not attend Midlo as well, since Charter Colony connects to Midlothian Turnpike, making it a thoroughfare for many. Therefore, those commuting to their jobs at the same time of day find themselves held up by the traffic in the area as they attempt to pass by the school.

Aside from the concerns that arise from the drop-off lines at the front of the school, the student parking lot poses challenges too. Right before they turn into the parking lot, there is a regularly jammed intersection that is the site of many accidents year after year.

“It’s better than it used to be,” junior Reagan McAdams said, “but, the lot would be easier to get out of if they released grade levels farther apart rather than just the five-minute early release for seniors.”

At the end of the day, the chaotic scene from the morning returns as the pick-up line stretches all the way around the school and is formed by eager parents and guardians who jump in line long before the last bell of the day releases students from class. To avoid the traffic, many students will stay in the library after hours or go to the church nearby to wait until the line dies down.

The problem is pretty simple. A whole bunch of cars in one spot, are all trying to get out at the same time.”

— Officer Hal McDonough

Officer Hal McDonough directs traffic in the intersection outside of the student parking lot. He says the problem is pretty simple, “A whole bunch of cars in one spot, are all trying to get out at the same time.” He hopes in a few years that the only people on the road outside of the school will be students and teachers since construction workers are widening roads and building new shopping centers. This should make the traffic around the school more bearable for people who are just trying to pass through.

With both the pick-up and drop-off lines at the front of the school and the student parking lot at the back becoming hazardous, alternate solutions have been encouraged, such as taking the bus when possible and carpooling with others. Those navigating the traffic must take caution by driving slowly and always paying close attention to their surroundings in an effort to avoid accidents.