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A Column: Put an End to Parking Deck Madness

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The parking deck: a sight to be embraced by all students who leave school at 4:15 p.m., yet a sight dreaded by parents and teachers who happen to be leaving in the deck at the same time. With three stories full of automobiles ranging from old Honda Civics to brand new Mercedes-Benz E-Classes, you’ll see cars going 20 miles per hour down the ramp and hear tires screeching around corners when students long to get home after a tiring school day.

It’s no new observation. After a $160 million move to the new campus in 2014, Atlanta Public Schools knew that with a new building that would have at least 300 faculty and students driving, there would have to be an office-like accompanying parking deck. Sadly, they didn’t envision some type of Monster Jam to be taking place every day when school gets out.

Usually, I’ll arrive to school at around 8:25 a.m. on an average day. Believe me, 10 minutes makes a huge difference in what’s going on in the parking deck. At 8:15 a.m., you’ll find a nearly empty parking deck that’s full of tranquility and serenity. When I get there, it becomes a little more rowdy. The closer you get to 8:45 a.m., the majority of the students are rushing to get to class on time. This means higher speeds, increased walking paces and louder rap music.

But the early morning rush pales in comparison to the that of the afternoon’s. Now that the dismissal time is 4:15 p.m., students are itching to simply get out of school as fast as they can. Most have turned to backing into their spots in the morning in order to get out more easily, and this works. However, for the ones that pull into a spot regularly, I feel bad for you. You suffer at the hands of drivers who have no courtesy. As the deck becomes more full with traffic, it’s increasingly hard to back out. When you happen to exit the deck, you exhale a sigh of relief. Simply, your life isn’t in the hands some careless truck-driving 17-year-old.

With this said, I implore students to drive more carefully. In two years, we’ve had plenty accidents involving backing into another car. But, have you heard of the failed mini drag-race that occurred and resulted in the damage of several cars? What about the time someone got hit walking across one of the ramps in the afternoon? Don’t let yourself be the subject of one of these questions. Drive carefully, you’ll get out on time. And most importantly, with your life.

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Thinking with Excellence to Inform and Enlighten
A Column: Put an End to Parking Deck Madness