After school, I find myself waiting until 3:15 before leaving so I can avoid the mess and chaos of the parking lot. Unless you are one of the first people out of the building, or you parked in the front couple of rows, you are destined to be stuck in the parking lot for 20 minutes, just waiting to move.

The design of the lot is where the problem stems from. There’s only one exit and masses of cars are all vying to stream into the same giant train of cars. It doesn’t help that as soon as you manage to make it out of the parking lot and onto Marshall Drive, you have to wait for people crossing the street and the backup of cars due to all three lanes being packed. Not to mention the catastrophe that comes from letting the busses in and other vehicles leaving the front parking lot. The upper lot is truly a mess and unless I wait before leaving, I’m caught sitting in my car, barely moving.

There’s little that can be done to fix this issue. While the layout is a major problem, the location hinders the flow of the cars as well. Of course, there are worse designs and places for a school parking lot but it’s hard to restrain myself from being frustrated every time I pull into the lot.

The mess isn’t limited to after school only. In the mornings the traffic outside Marshall is horrendous and is a common reason for why a student arrives late. There have been plenty of times I’ve left my house early and still come late because the traffic just before the school was horrible. There are days where I’ve found myself parking in the lower lot next to the field to arrive to class on time. The amount of backups on Route 7 in front of the school and on Marshall Drive is enormous. The upper parking lot isn’t necessarily packed itself, but the number of cars slowly turning into the lot, or paused to wait for students crossing, is remarkable.

The first three rows of parking in the upper lot are saved for faculty only, which is also an issue. Student parking is filled by the time the bell rings but the rows reserved for the faculty have plenty of open spots. Only about three of the spots in the third row are taken, leaving 25 vacant spaces that could be filled with students vehicles. It’s an unnecessary regulation that leads to more irritation towards the lot.

In an ideal world the parking lot wouldn’t be an issue. However, in this reality, that’s not the case. The only way to avoid the craziness of the parking lot is to come early in the mornings, and to be one of the first cars out in the afternoon. If that doesn’t work, your best bet is to wait until it’s mostly cleared out after 20 minutes.