Catholic High’s Catastrophic Traffic

It’s 3:04. People in the back of the class are stacking books silently. Mr. Straessle’s voice finally booms on the intercom. He says, “and that is all for today.” The student body rushes outside, eager to get home.

Watching all of it, Mrs. Melinda Martin stands in what used to be Jerry Jones’ old office. It had a perfect view of the football field, where Mr. Jones would watch his son with binoculars. Mrs. Martin can still clearly see the freshmen waiting on their mothers to meet them at the door, while other parents try to venture into her parking lot.

Mrs. Martin is the building manager of Plaza West, directly across from Catholic. She’s worked there for 26 years, and is very familiar with the school. She says the traffic had improved over the years, and officers helped. “It has gotten much better without parking on the street, and police have helped, but I’ve heard they’re not going to stick around.”

The time of year also affects how much chaos there is out her front door. “In the spring, Dillard’s parking lot seems to get more filled.” Mrs. Martin said she didn’t think Dillard’s minded parents parking there as much as she did when they parked in the Plaza West spaces, because people who park there are inclined to make a purchase.

“We ask parents not to park here, and there’s a sheet of paper put up that says so. It’s signed by Mr. Straessle and me. We also have security guards that are paid to stop parents from Catholic. I’ve had to start paying them for an hour more to protect our parking spots, because the building is fully leased.”

“Most of the time, it doesn’t affect our tenants,” Mrs. Martin said. “Not many people who work in the Plaza West building are coming and going at that time, but clients who show up a bit late to an appointment can have problems trying to navigate the frenzy.”

So, in that case, what’s the solution? “Catholic needs to buy more property, and use it for parking.” Mrs. Martin said, and every year there seems to be more and more students attempting to park across the street at other locations, since parking on school campus is so tight.

Many students had similar reactions. Sophomore Walt Reber talked about walking to other places to completely avoid the backup. “Instead of just waiting at the doors for their mom to show up, freshman should walk to the corner or down Father Tribou Street. Or even better, have them just walk across the street to the Park Plaza Mall parking,” said Reber.

Not everyone agrees with the new setup. Another sophomore, Max Rice, said, “I don’t like the traffic as much this year. It’s way harder to get to my car, since you can’t park on the street. I have to go over to Park Plaza.”

But as much of a headache as the traffic outside is, there isn’t a school that has traffic more worth being in. As Mrs. Martin said, “If you had to choose a better high school across the street, you couldn’t.”

1 Comment

  1. Larry Willis

    October 8, 2016 at 8:18 am

    Article states the problem & concerns of all vested parties. Well written.

    Larry Willis

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