An Insight on What Students Should Know Regarding Traffic Surrounding Dakota and the Dakota Parking Lot

Alyssa Zerilli, Writer

One of the main stresses and frustrations for students when they wake up to go to school in the morning is traffic. They worry about what time they should leave to combat backups; they wonder what routes are best to take to make it to school on time efficiently, and they become frustrated when things move slowly, or people aren’t following traffic regulations. Even leaving school in the afternoon, students run into backups and impatience when it comes to driving. It’s safe to say that traffic is a common enemy for people of all ages, whether it be parents, students, or someone carpooling that’s depending on someone else to drive them. Many wonder how we can adjust to the forestalling traffic, and how students can effectively navigate the Dakota parking lot and surrounding traffic. Despite the frustrations however, Students must understand the sheer amount of people that attend Dakota everyday will certainly cause backups, and the school administration works to find the best solutions in coming up with ways to work with the traffic and provide clemency to students with tardiness when it comes to accidents and or traffic due to construction.  


In an interview with some randomly selected students throughout the week, they shared their commentary on some of their feelings on traffic surrounding Dakota and in the parking lot.  

When asked what he believes is his biggest frustration with traffic at Dakota, Spencer Rowe (Grade 12) states, “I live like five minutes away, and it takes me 30 minutes to get there (Dakota).” 

Spencer Rowe (Grade 12)

Jazmine Travis (Grade 11) is someone that walks to and from school, she had this to share about some safety concerns she had regarding the drivers and pedestrians at the school and her experience with the parking lot and neighboring traffic, “The drivers are terrible, and they don’t follow the rules; yesterday I just saw someone drive over a cone, and they don’t wait for people to cross the street, they just go. But also, it’s sometimes not the driver’s fault because some students just run into the traffic without looking both ways, so it’s quite the problem.”  

Asked to comment on drivers at Dakota, Lia (Grade 11) shared her concern on drivers that weren’t students at the school saying, “The parents can’t drive well, and don’t listen to the traffic regulations.” 

Chris Haviaras (Grade 12) was willing to share his experience on what routes are best to avoid and what are best to take, he shared, “Cougar drive is not the way to go, you should go around to 21 mile if you don’t want to be late.”  

With these comments in mind, students share many concerns regarding safety with the Dakota parking lot and worry about how driving carelessness in the morning or impatience could lead to issues. It is best to avoid these incidents by students remaining conscious of pedestrians and people crossing the street, and to always follow traffic rules and try to avoid getting frustrated behind the wheel as this could lead to some mistakes while driving. Students’ second main concern is tardiness and how traffic could affect if they are on time or late for class.  


Looking at the amount of tardies during first hour compared to other hours from information provided by the attendance office shows a significant number of students coming in late to class in the morning rather than later in the day.  

On Friday 9/9/22, The amount of tardies recorded in first hour included, unexcused and excused, were a large total of 30, but when we looked at the amount of tardies counted in 3rd hour of that same day, the total came out to be only 9. That is a drastic difference of 21 tardies.  

Though it may be dispiriting, it is best that students adjust to this issue by trying to leave at earlier times in the morning, if a student finds that they walk in late from traffic backups, they should try to leave earlier or try a different route to school if possible.  


The Dakota Planet was given the opportunity to interview Mr. Koscos, Dakota’s principal, on the traffic and parking lot and how he views and addresses the topic.  

Regarding the biggest issues on traffic Mr. Koscos says, “With busses, Student drivers, teachers leaving at dismissal, and parent pick-ups, volume and really the fact that the campus in its current state was not designed to hold that kind of volume, as well as the location of the 9th grade center posing some unique challenges, it is not anyone fault that these challenges arise.”  

When asked what time is best and worst when it comes to traffic and backups at Dakota he shared, “In the morning I really think that prior to 6:45 it really is manageable, any time after 6:45 is a little more hit or miss, Weather circumstances and accidents can play a role in changing this making it somewhat unpredictable but overall reasonable before 6:45.” 

Mr. Koscos provided some insight on the infrastructure of the schools parking lot to saying, “You don’t have many schools with 6 separate parking lots leading into only two roads with everyone trying to leave and come in all at the same time with a driveway and infrastructure system that was never really meant to handle all of that.” 

The message on safety always remains constant, Mr. Koscos commented, “Driving at safe speeds, driving while allowing adequate distance between you and the car in front of you, and avoiding being distracted by things like cell phone are all the basics with safety while driving. Always try to be courteous and let cars in, “Zipper” is the term, to allow everyone to drive safely and efficiently.” 


Students face frustration due to traffic every day, but that doesn’t mean it’s not adjustable. Understanding that everyone else around each other in traffic is going through the same thing and feeling the same frustration is something students and any other drivers entering or leaving Dakota can sympathize with. What is most important to take away is that safety and patience are essential when it comes to driving, and to always be careful when behind the wheel. Watch for pedestrians, follow traffic regulations, and try to keep emotions in check while driving to avoid sketchy situations.