RHS struggles to provide parking due to congestion, campus layout
February 4, 2020
Roseville High School was first established in 1912 and the city grew and developed around the school. The campus was not initially built to host the size of the current student and staff population. As the school grew in both population and physical size, land limitations left students and staff with limited parking around the school.
This year saw a reduction in parking due to construction of the new auxiliary gym. While long-term plans to recapture parking on land taken up by the portables will help compensate, for the time being construction changes have exacerbated Roseville’s parking situation.
Driving to and from school:
Before worrying about parking, students and staff have to get to the school.
Roseville High’s location, tucked amidst railroad tracks, neighborhoods and the fountains, combined with new drivers, small streets and congestion can make driving difficult and accidents par for the course. Junior Uziel Urrea finds it hard to maneuver around the masses of people.
“There’s just a lot of traffic and small streets,” Urrea said. “So it’s kinda hard to get around, because there’s just too many cars.”
Social science teacher Jon Coleman said those rushing to fight the congestion make driving dangerous, as well as cumbersome for residents living around the school.
“I have my neighbors asking me what the schedule is just so they can avoid the traffic too. It’s nuts,” Coleman said. “Everybody likes to go up Diamond Oaks at breakneck speeds… you’re in my neighborhood, so slow down.”
It’s not just Diamond Oaks neighborhoods affected though. The streets on the side of the school by Berry lot have their own problems. Senior Riley Nelson who parks in Berry lot everyday experiences these problems first hand.
“Sometimes pedestrians can be an issue because the only real way for them to get from Berry lot to the actual school is to cross that road right there… cars can’t get through because there’s just a never ending flow of people,” Nelson said.
There’s no traffic personnel to monitor the flow of students and cars. Officer Hance said, right now, the students should be capable of deciding when they should let drivers go first and when they should cross.
“A crossing guard could help, because they can decide when they are going to stop traffic to let people cross and they can decide when they are going to come back and say hey ‘hold off, we’re going to wait,’” Hance said. “The students also could take that into their own hands a little bit and say ‘there’s only three of use right now – we’re going to wait.’”
Parking at school:
After lots fill up by the actual campus, cars flow into the streets and into areas where they may not be permitted to park.
Construction and parked construction workers relegate available parking to specific niches on campus. Coleman, who teaches in the portables, used to use the teacher parking where the new auxiliary gym is being built. Now, he uses teacher parking in the front lot, much further from the portables. He arrives to school early in an attempt to lock in a spot.
“Parking? What parking? There isn’t any parking. The parking for staff is horrible. The parking for students is worse,” Coleman said. “Even though you shouldn’t expect a parking space as a student, we should at least have reasonable parking.”
More difficulties surrounding parking at the school include after hours for sports events and practice. Sophomore cheerleader Savannah Magness wishes there was a better way to handle parking for her sports.
“For sports, it’s harder because we’ll get here and literally all the parking spots are filled,” Magness said. “It’s all packed over there and like there’s no where to park, so we have to park really far down the street or in the parking lot and it’s just cold and dark so it’s not really the best situation.”
Although students can pay for a reserved spot in one of the parking lots, the recipients of these spots are selected by lottery. With no sure-fire method to ensure a spot, students and staff find creative solutions to cope with the parking limitations.
Nelson arrives at school 40 minutes early.
“I never saw an issue, because I get to school around 7:00 to avoid most of the people,” Nelson said. “I can get a pull-through spot in Berry and I didn’t think it was a huge issue because I don’t mind getting up a little earlier.”
For those who do not want to arrive at school as early, parking far away and walking the distance to campus is the solution.
“There’s not really a lot of parking, so I have to find different places to park,” Urrea said. “I can’t really park near the school. I park kind of far away because by the time I get there, there’s no parking.”
According to Officer Hance, sometimes students park in areas they shouldn’t because there’s nowhere else to park. This has led to the school receiving complaints from homeowners and facilities workers that cars are blocking or partially blocking driveways or areas like the alley, which prevents garbage trucks from entering and potentially vehicles like fire trucks in case of an emergency.
When a student parks like this, they receive a ticket.
Exiting parking lots after school has proven difficult for some students as well.
“I leave school around 15-20 minutes after school so I avoid any of the actual Berry lot traffic,” Nelson said. “I get here early so I’m avoiding the big crowds of people coming in, so I get to avoid more of the people crossing the street.”
Hance is working on developing and implementing plans to improve parking and traffic flow issues at RHS. As of now, he has repainted curbs and crosswalks on Berry Street to prevent accidents.
“Some of the plans I had were trying to make two lanes in the front lot. Parents that are picking up and dropping off can be in one lane,” Hance said. “They’ll be able to stop in front of the school. Parents who are just coming through or people who are leaving can use the second lane and be able to exit out the parking lot. Due to fire lane issues and things like that, we were told that’s not gonna work.”