5 Points to Parking Lot Etiquette
September 5, 2018
One of the most sought-after upperclassman privileges at FCHS is the ability to drive to school. Since all student drivers are new drivers, some newer than others, the traffic before and after school can be chaotic. To find possible solutions to this issue, Mitchell Pace’s 1B AP Government class held a town hall meeting with Principal Margo Bruce.
One new policy that will be put into effect this week is leaving three minutes earlier. Students that purchased parking passes will be given a driving pass signed by Bruce that allows student drivers to leave early. Here are a few tips that came out of that meeting that you need to know in order to ensure a safe and efficient flow of traffic in the parking lot.
1. Socialize in front of your own car: People like to meet up with their friends after school, whether to catch up on the events of the day or to wait out the heavy after-school traffic. This is perfectly acceptable as long as you and your friends do not block anyone from exiting the parking lot. If you want to socialize, do it in front of your own car or on the sidewalk so others can leave campus.
2. The Zipper Method is key: As soon as the bell rings, everyone is in a hurry to get home, but leaving the parking lot after school can be unnecessarily difficult. The Zipper method is the best method to ensuring a steady and safe flow of traffic. Here’s how it works: When meeting at an intersection, one car goes from the first lane, then one car goes from the opposite lane, and so on until the intersection is cleared, thus creating a zipper-like flow of traffic. This method can also be used between the rows of the parking lot, not just at the stop signs. So as you leave the lot, remember to be polite and take your turn using the zipper.
3. No texting and driving- yes even in the parking lot: While you may not be going down Route 53 at 45 mph, you should never use your phone when behind the wheel. Many students like to check their messages, answer a phone call, or change their music station while waiting to get in or out of the parking lot. It may not seem like a serious offence, but these few seconds spent focused on tasks other than driving can hold up traffic and possibly lead to an accident; like running into a car pulling out of a parking space. It’s simple. Set a playlist of music you like and check your messages before you start driving. Once you’re satisfied with your music choice and have no messages, put your phone on “do not disturb,” or toss it in the backseat. This way you won’t be tempted to use your phone while behind the wheel.
4. Make your intentions clear when parking: If you plan on backing into your space, put your blinker on to indicate your intention. Some people may not grasp that you want to back in if you pull into another lane without a blinker and follow too closely. On the flip side, you should maintain a large enough gap between the car in front of you so that when situations like this occur, you aren’t in immediate danger of colliding.
5. Make an effort to park evenly: If you pull in quickly and notice that you’re straddling the line or are too close to the cars around you, adjust accordingly. It’s better to spend an extra ten seconds fixing your parking than to come back to a dinged door. It’s also courteous to those that park around you. If you straddle the line, then every car in that row has to adjust their parking to avoid hitting the car next to them when they exit their vehicle.
So the next time you find yourself waiting in traffic, have some patience and remember these tips. If everyone puts in just a little more effort, the school parking lot will be safer and have steady traffic flowing on and off campus.