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Drive better, Solon High School

Bird’s eye view of Commons Parking Lot. Screenshot taken from Apple Maps.

Traffic is common at Solon High School. With over 1,500 students enrolled, there is bound to be road congestion. However, traffic has been significantly worse this school year.

Multiple factors could be contributing to recent traffic congestion.

  1. As many locals know, Aurora Road in Solon has been closed to westbound traffic from Liberty Road to Burger King since Sept. 25, 2023. More recently, as of the week Dec. 18, 2023, the one-way eastbound zone was also closed off. These areas are closed off because the city of Solon is widening Aurora Road and adding sidewalks. For anyone unfamiliar with the severity of this closure, Aurora Road is a main road that connects many residential areas to both downtown Solon (S.O.M. Center Rd) and the Bainbridge shopping areas with staple stores such as Walmart and Target. This closure affects many students’ routes to school, and many adults’ routes to work. Consequently, traffic in Solon is heightened, especially during morning and evening rush hours.
  2. The usual crossing guard at the intersection of the pool pad has been gone. Since then, interim police officers have been taking over, and it is hard to be as efficient as the previous man. The previous crossing guard let cars through the stop sign to minimize congestion if there was no oncoming traffic. However, the police officers do not do this, and every car has to stop at the stop sign. Because of this, the whole pool parking lot gets backed up.
  3. A big problem with the school traffic is the proximity of parent drop-off/pick-up spaces to the student parking lots. Since all of the entrances to the school are on Inwood Drive, it causes so much backup and standstill traffic in the mornings and the afternoons. Some parents have resorted to parking in the Pool Pad before school ends, waiting for their kids to get in the car and driving out through the Pool Pad. While this seems efficient, this is not only against school policy, but it also worsens the traffic in the parking lot. Parents are not allowed to pick up their kids in the pool pad. They must go either to the library, ABC Streets, or the Commons pickup line.

Aside from these factors, student drivers need to be less aggressive in the parking lot. I understand that students have busy lives and might need to be somewhere after school, but I have been stuck for five minutes or longer trying to get in the mainstream line to leave because no one lets me in. Because there is only one exit in each parking lot, every car must merge into one line to successfully exit. However, drivers rarely let you in, so this system needs to be fixed.

Bird’s eye view of Pool Pad parking lot. Screenshot taken from Apple Maps.


The odd shape of the Pool parking lot is one of the main reasons why I think traffic gets backed up so easily. The exit is at an angle, and so traffic bottlenecks quickly. Because you have to merge into the main line at a sharp angle, it makes it more difficult to see where you’re going, and it seems easier for other cars to ignore you and not let you in. Additionally, buses leave through the pool parking lot — this is just another factor that causes congestion.

Considering that there will be no immediate change to the structure of the parking lots, other changes could be made to mitigate traffic. There could be a system in place in the parking lots that encourages students to zipper merge. This could be the addition of stop signs at every aisle of the parking lots or a common understanding of letting cars in.

In conclusion, while the traffic has been worse this year, not one thing is to blame. I realize that this is a difficult change, and there is not a magical solution. Many factors contribute to traffic, but I believe that many things need to change to lessen traffic at SHS. This could include zipper merging and a different entrance for parent drop-off and pick-up. Ultimately, Solon has a population of around 24,000, and it is a busy city, so traffic will always be prevalent. Considering this, it is in everyone’s best interest to do their part to lessen traffic.

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