Parking lot survival guide


Cars parked in the SHS parking lot. Photo taken by Jenna Corrao.

Jenna Corrao, Contributing Writer

A majority of Solon High School (SHS) upperclassman drive to get to school. Everyone who has a parking pass parks in either the Commons Parking Lot or the Pool Lobby Lot (Pool Lobby), and it’s important for students to know the ins and outs of the two lots. I have parked in both and I have a solid understanding about what goes on in each lot so, I’ve made a list of things that will help students to arrive and leave school safely, efficiently and stress-free (hopefully).

1. Choose wisely

Location is very important for efficiency. Choosing the lot based off of your first and last class is essential to having a pleasant parking lot experience. If you’re not a morning person, I advise you to park by your first class in order to maximize the amount of time you have before the 7:50 a.m. bell rings. However, if you are trying to leave school quickly, then parking by your last class will be your best bet to making it out before 3:00 p.m. If your last class is in the art wing I would highly recommend parking in Commons.

2. Be Prompt

You can’t expect to get a good spot if you are showing up five minutes before school starts. Especially if you are planning on parking in the Commons Parking Lot because by 7:45 a.m. that lot is filled up and you’ll end up parking in the back. I would recommend getting to school by at least 7:40 a.m. for the Commons, and at least 7:43 a.m. for the Pool Lobby. A couple of minutes makes a big difference when it comes to the SHS parking lots, so set the alarm for five minutes earlier to ensure an ideal spot.

3. No cuts, no buts, no coconuts!

Many sophomores and juniors are new drivers and don’t know the do’s and don’ts yet. Parking lot etiquette is crucial to ensure safety of other drivers and pedestrians. I know people have places to be but trying to cut through open spots and cutting off people is dangerous. Getting in an accident will cause you to be even more late than going to the back of the line and waiting your turn. Single file lines are also important. I’ve seen drivers try to make the lines into two lanes. This is a big no no because it’s too unpredictable as to who would go first. Just wait your turn. Naeemah Story, SHS senior points out another problem in the lines.

“Get off your phone when you’re driving,” said Story, “you need to pay attention when you’re in line because people are walking through cars.”

I know that after school you probably want to check your phone for texts, snapchats, etc. But in the line to leave school is not the place to do so. If you have something urgent to respond to then you should stay in your parking spot until you’re distraction free and ready to join the line. I’m also a environmental freak, so don’t idle your car for too long!

4. Back it up

If you consider yourself an experienced driver, then put that car into reverse! Pulling through into a spot is okay, too. But not as cool. Backing into a spot will take a little more time in the morning, but when you’re leaving after school you’ll thank yourself. Having your car facing outward is convenient so that you can just pull out and drive away. It’s also safer getting out according to Ian Jones, senior at SHS.

“I was driving by somebody and they just continued to pull out without looking behind them first,” said Jones.

Students are trying to get out of school as fast as they can. Backing out of the spot requires attention that I think a lot of drivers don’t want to give when they are leaving. That’s why if you back into your spot you won’t have to worry about blind spots or kids that come out from nowhere.

5. Hold your horses

In the parking lot you should be going no more than 10 MPH. Going too fast is dangerous to you, other drivers and students trying to get to their cars. After school, cars are pulling out and turning around corners. If you’re going too fast you might not have enough time to stop. Speeding isn’t cool. Alan Bradley, SHS security officer and traffic controller in the Pool Lobby, says speeding is one of the biggest issues with student drivers in the parking lot.

“They drive too fast,” said Bradley, “they drive so fast that when I tell them to stop it’s hard for them to slow down. They also need to be more considerate of each other,”

Remember that using the parking lot is a privilege. Driving safely and following the rules is imperative. Some of these tips require more skills than others (backing in). However, I think this easy to follow because all it takes is a little planning. Remember, if you don’t make it out before 3:00 it’s not the end of the day (and you probably didn’t follow this full-proof guide)!