One exit and the fight to get home is on

Langley has cracked down on students using the bus lane to make a quick exit


Sawyer Blazar, Reporter

In mid-February, Langley administrators announced that students were no longer allowed to exit the school via the bus lane, citing a disruption in the buses’ schedule. Using the bus lane gave students a quick exit from school and lessened congestion at the main exit. Now that all student drivers are forced to share one exit again, the traffic – and displeasure – are piling up.

“The parking lot set up is restrictive, to begin with; all of the extra rules and unnecessary complications being thrown in on top just makes it worse,” senior Emily Elkas said. “Not to mention, if you pay for your own gas, sitting in your car [waiting in line to exit the school] takes a toll on your wallet. It adds up.”

Langley’s administration does not deny that the rule change has made life more difficult for student driver, but sees it as a necessary evil: “when the buses are done [with high schoolers], they have to go transport elementary schoolers. This long line of traffic prevents them from getting to and from the elementary schools,” Langley administrator Jim Robertson said.

“We have an obligation to get buses out on time… we’re part of a bigger operation. I recognize this will make students late, and that’s unfortunate, but we’re doing the best we can. It is what it is.”

The administration isn’t alone – teachers have seen frustration from student drivers before, and don’t view it as uniquely inconvenient. “When you all leave a concert at Jiffy Lube, for example, you’re going to have to wait in line to get out. It happens all of the time,” teacher Jessica Shoemaker said. “It’s not fun… but it’s just something you have to get used to.”

Some schools like Thomas Jefferson High School have similar policies noted by senior at the school, Zane Givans.

We have two exits but you can only use one in the mornings and right after school. Juniors started parking in the senior lot and completely wrecked everything so the whole thing is just a mess,” he said.

At Marshall High School, students have two parking lots to use for parking however again, there is only one exit that they can use to get in and out.
“It’s not good, especially because at the end of the day everyone is rushing to get home so sometimes cars will bump into each other,” Senior at Marshall, Cristina Beltran said. “The upper parking lot also has ‘kiss and ride’ which creates even more backup because not only is it kids who drive leaving, but also parents picking up their children.”

For some students, however, ‘getting used to’ waiting in line in the parking lot costs them truly valuable time after school. “I have a 40-minute drive to [crew] practice after school Monday through Saturday,” Elkas explained. Because the administration is bottlenecking all drivers after school, student drivers are realizing that extracurriculars, unfortunately, don’t adjust to increased travel times.

“I empathize with every student that drives. I wish I had an answer for [the increased traffic]. But we simply don’t have the capability to control traffic,” Robertson said, repeating, “it is what it is.”