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Marist Parking: Student Opinions and Proposed Solutions

Hayden Krupa
Marist’s East parking lot before school

Marist’s poorly designed parking lot causes daily traffic jams people describe as painful and difficult to sit through leaving students begging for a change.

Many students would agree that Marist is a lovely place to call home for four years, however it’s definitely not without its issues. From students’ very first time being dropped off to their last time pulling out of their parking spot, the issue of traffic at and around times of morning bell and dismissal is blaring. It is crucial that these problems are addressed and solutions are considered for the good of the Marist student body and staff.

In a survey conducted by MHS Media gathering almost 500 student responses, participants were asked to grade the current parking system out of five. A staggering 81% of students gave it a score of 2 or lower.

The lines are a very long wait and unfair to everyone; there is no pattern and everything is always messed up,” said an anonymous student respondent. Another student had to say, “I just hate it and I wish they would do something about it.”


Marist student survey data ranking the parking 1-5


Clearly there is a great deal of frustration regarding the current parking situation, but what could potential solutions look like?

Based on responses from the survey and interviews with staff, here’s a list of possible solutions in order of how easily they could be implemented.

Parent Email

One of the biggest complaints amongst student drivers is parents not knowing how to navigate the parking lot and taking up student parking. An email could very easily be sent out to parents explaining how they may not use any parking spaces, park in any part of the lot blocking the flow of traffic, and encouraging street pickup on 115th rather than pulling into the pickup/drop-off lane.

More Traffic Guards

Often parents will park in the East lot blocking lanes of traffic in order to get their kids, as well as blocking the entrance lane in the morning trying to be the last car to squeeze in at a yellow light. An extra traffic guard in the East lot could work to stop this from happening providing a smoother experience for all students.

Opening the Third Exit

At Marist there are two parking exits in operation: one in the East lot and West lot. However there is a third exit near the West lot that is constantly blocked by a gate. Opening that up and funneling parents out that way could create a much smoother exit from the West lot. This could also include partially reversing the flow of traffic to prevent students from having to go all the way around to the back in order to get out, which would result in an easier dismissal. This idea would most likely also require an additional traffic guard.

Removing Parking Spaces

On either side of the pickup/drop-off lane are additional spots for parallel parking. Removing these spots, or at least temporarily closing them during school hours, would allow an additional lane for parents to pull over in order to pick up their kid. As it is right now, one lane for pickup creates a major backup for parents that spills back into the East lot creating even more congestion. More students could be put in the remote lot in order to account for fewer spaces.

Extended 115th’s Second Lane

This is by far the most unlikely of scenarios as it would require city approval as well as construction, however it would help immensely. When looking at 115th street it has two lanes both east and west of Marist, however it merges to one lane in front of the school. By extending the second lane on 115th street to connect directly to the westbound exit of the West lot, traffic would flow much smoother as there would be no need for cars to stop in front of the school for students exiting. It would almost act as a highway exit for the parking lot.

Nobody is expecting Marist to approve an extreme change, however other solutions appear to be rather simple and easy to implement. No matter what route is taken, the survey shows students simply want to see some acknowledgement of their frustrations and effort being put forth to help.


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About the Contributor
Hayden Krupa
Hayden Krupa, Editor in Chief/Journalism 2 Writer
I am Hayden Krupa, Senior at Marist. This is my 2nd year as a writer and 1st as an editor for MHS Media. I plan to major in sports journalism and I dream to one day cover Chicago sports for a living. I also want to play college hockey. I am a student ambassador for Marist, member of NHS, 2 sport Varsity athlete in hockey and lacrosse, and the commentator for Sandburg hockey.
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