McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

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Opinion | The parking lot needs to be maintained better in winter

The student and teacher parking lots at MCHS require modifications to be safe in winter
Eli Frommes
The winter days have taken a toll on the student and staff parking lots due to the snow and ice, and leaving the question of is the parking lot maintained to its best during the winter?

Students, parents, and teachers begin to drive into MCHS the morning after an e-learning day, tired, with hands gripping a slowly defrosting steering wheel. Pulling in cautiously next to the oncoming traffic, the slight locking of the back wheels is enough to jolt anyone wide awake. After turning into the parking lot, they make their way down their usual “muscle memory” path, only to realize that they can hardly see their parking spot. The drivers that are parked on either side of them appear to have the same issue, both cars being slightly crooked.

During the inclement weather, MCHS students and staff have a hard time getting through the parking lot and to their spaces. These parking lots need to constantly stay maintained because of the limited road space and continual snow coverage.

Before the inclement weather days, dustings previously had added to the now mounds of snow that build on the grassy sections, or where drivers do not pass in the parking lots. If these specific snowy areas could be taken care of, it would give more visibility back to the driver and would prevent snow overflowing back onto the roads after persistent plowing. With blindsides and parking spots faded by snow, this adds to the stress for students and staff upon arrival.

As for the actual roads that are in the parking lot, they appear to be extremely thin. Although presumably compromised for more parking space, thinner roads add for more uncomfortable passing between cars and curbs, as well as areas that are difficult to maneuver in when traffic is present. When the weather is too cold and salt will not melt the ice that can be present, drivers have considerably less space to redirect their cars in case of a slight skid. This can be dangerous for many reasons, one being the other students that are walking to their cars.

Because of such severe weather, it could have been a danger for workers to perform their job efficiently in a timely manner. Extra stress is added to the issue when the space to put all of the snow is so limited. The Building and Grounds department has been continuously plowing the snow since it began to spike, and have the materials and training to do their jobs as effectively and safely as possible. It is undeniable the fact that the team cannot completely clear the parking lot of snow unless at the expense of other areas of the property. This in part could possibly contribute to a larger conversation; should MCHS work to reconstruct the student parking lot?

Snow has always been an issue for MCHS parking lots, even before the new wing expansion and the extra parking for staff. Steps can be taken to ensure a safer area for the student body and staff, but this does not call for surface level solutions. Had the building design taken strongly into account the amount of snow that might lay on McHenry? Is there a way to implement changes that all individuals at MCHS will benefit from?

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Comments (1)

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    AngieJan 30, 2024 at 12:09 am

    Great article. I was at Huntley High School a few days after the big snow storm and their parking lot didn’t have a Trace of snow. When I left it looked like they had treated the Parking lot with that stuff they treat the roads with before a storm. Maybe it would be good to interview their school to see what they do to keep their Parking lots so clear.