School parking situation needs improvement

Sam Kaufmann, Opinion Editor

At Waunakee High School, there are five parking lots that are available for student use. While that sounds like a large number at first, it really is not. Two of those five sit on the desolate western end of campus and generally stay mostly empty, except during athletic events. Lot F generally only gets use from Endres Manufacturing employees and for storing mulch and soccer goals. Nobody wants to park there because they are so far away and there is no sidewalk or crosswalk connecting the rest of the school grounds with Lot F. That essentially leaves three lots remaining. We need more parking that is closer to the school building. Utilizing the former “natural space” along Eighth Street, which is now mostly a barren grass patch after the ash tree removal, or the grassy area next to the Fieldhouse are possibilities. Those would be great places to move the lightly used motorcycle and moped parking due to their limited sizes, which would allow a number of additional spaces for students closer to the main office entrance. 

Nonetheless, a major problem with the “upper” lots is that the two entry/exit points are all at one end. Thus, there is often major traffic congestion associated with those chokepoints. Perhaps adding a third exit/entrance from Community Drive could help solve that problem. In addition, it would be a fine idea to permanently have the yellow speed bumps removed or use a different traffic calming method. While speed bumps sound like a great idea to keep traffic moving slower, the yellow ones “feel” the same when traveling both at the speed limit or at a reduced speed. Instead of the current bumps, the administration should look into the purchase of heavy-duty rubber speed bumps. These would be more effective than the current bumps because cars would actually have to slow down to travel over them. There is already a highly effective set of rubber bumps located on the alley next to WNC. 

An additional issue is that the north side of the upper lots does not have a sidewalk for much of its length. If students want to stay out of the way of others racing through the lot, they have to trudge through a snow drift or large mud puddle. Creating a sidewalk or path that completely encircles the entire building is an excellent idea that should be pursued. It is an important safety measure that makes it easier for bikers and pedestrians to get to school.