Opinion: Parking Problems?

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More stories from Jacob Keenan

Final Feels
May 21, 2018
No left turn sign displayed in parking lot B

Jacob Keenan

No left turn sign displayed in parking lot B

Olathe West has a unique parking lot in that it considers the safety of many and was designed to run smoothly. However, there is one safety issue that I think may have been overlooked when designing the lot. There are students exiting from the south exit in lot B putting students leaving lot A in danger. 

The design of the lot is very nice but could be improved there are three different parking lots: one for staff and two for students. There is also a separate entrance and exit for the busses.  This allows separation between bus and car traffic. In my experience, this system has been working for students in the morning, but leaving the lot has become a bit difficult.  

There is a student lot A and lot B. Lot B is the northwest lot and lot A is the southwest lot. The most common exit from lot A is the north exit because it allows students to turn right and have direct access to the roundabout. Lot B has an exit on the south area of the lot. However, there is a sign posted directly next to this exit that reads “No Left Turns 3 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.” However, students parking in lot B continue to ignore this sign. 

I do think this request is understandable as students from lot A are turning right and cars are heading into the school in front of the south exit. This puts drivers in lot A in danger if people ignore the sign. I have experienced this problem many times, as I normally park in lot A.  

It is very important that we solve this problem now. With Olathe West not having seniors and many freshmen not able to drive, there are fewer student vehicles than there may be in the future. Furthermore, Olathe West students do not have assigned parking so if students need to turn at the first roundabout they are easily able to park in lot A. 

The population of Olathe West students will only grow over time. If the section of lot B is ignored students turning could lead to major collisions if the sign is not taken seriously. A solution to this problem and the most logical one would be students following the directions of the sign. If students can not obey the sign, it may lead to the future installation of a gate that would be locked from 3:00- 3:30. This would allow easy access to the lot in the mornings yet a safe dismissal process after school.