Magnet Parking Lot: The Root of all Evil May Have a Solution

Mr. Perlmutter, if you’re reading this, please let us do this

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It was a bright and clear Friday afternoon, which meant that I had to frequent the good ol’ Community Table for a dinner shift starting at 4 pm. No problem, right? My maps said it would only take me 25 minutes to drive over, estimating an arrival time of 3:55. Despite having a 5 minute buffer, I knew that this would not be nearly enough time to get to work due to the horrible monstrosity that is the Magnet parking lot. I swallowed my pride, zipped up my backpack, and ran to my car with the hoards of students attempting to beat the dismissal traffic. I planned my departure from school to the tee– I had backed into my spot this morning and made sure to hold my keys in my hand when I ran out. Regardless of my preparation, I arrived to work fifteen minutes late where I was instructed to “try to be on time.”

Any Raptor will tell you, this parking lot one of the worst things about Magnet. Any student who has driven to school knows the struggles of unconsentingly being stuck in the grips of the Bonds Wilson campus from the hours of 3:30 to 4. Former Raptor, Susannah Ryan, wrote in 2019 that “you can spend up to 15 minutes just leaving the parking lot due to the afternoon rush.” This wait time has doubled since then due to the increased number of underclassman that have infiltrated the school. (For real, why is the class of 2026 so big??) The parking lot has been subject to scrutiny from many students. As Jack Norman, fellow staff writer, wrote “the end of day four wheeled exit jenga is not just an inconvenience, but a danger to the health and wellbeing of the Raptor community.” I could not have put it more eloquently.

Our artsy counterparts have started doing a staggering dismissal time to curb the amount of traffic. Seniors get out at 3:22, Juniors get out at 3:27, and underclassmen get released at 3:30 because most of them are not driving.”

My personal grievances with the whole parking lot situation is sitting in traffic for thirty minutes is the last thing I want to do after school. In my opinion, we as Magnet students play along, take our AP’s, drown in homework, and uphold Magnet’s shining number 2 status for what? Being met with a half hour of purgatory? We are supposed to be one of the smartest schools in the nation and we can not even figure out how to manage our parking lot. A little embarrassing if you ask me.

However, the solution may be closer than you think. When driving a friend from SOA home from school one day, she was shocked at how long it took us to get out of the parking lot. Our artsy counterparts have started doing a staggering dismissal time to curb the amount of traffic. Seniors get out at 3:22, Juniors get out at 3:27, and underclassmen get released at 3:30 because most of them are not driving.[/pullquote]When asked how long it takes her to get out of the lot, she looked at me with confusion and said “I just drive out.” To put it short, I’m insanely jealous. Magnet already does a staggered dismissal for our lunch period, which helps to not overwhelm the cafeteria. If we implemented this same procedure for our after school dismissal, this could curb the amount of after school traffic. The necessity for some sort of action is obvious. The amount of money gone towards reparations for low speed collisions taken place on campus could have funded a school trip or something actually important. To our administration, I hope you guys take my suggestions to heart. I know the student body would greatly appreciate not sitting in the parking lot for that long after school!