As the winter season kicks off in Anchorage, the roads have become icy and slick. With the addition of a few days of snowfall, Anchorage residents have transitioned into winter driving conditions.
The student parking lot has been heavily affected by the snow and ice, with reckless students doing dangerous things such as drifting. The snow has also covered up the parking lines, causing poorly parked cars that make it hard for some students to find some parking spots.
Dimond Junior Anita Koelsch said, “The first time it snowed my mom and I went to Dimond and were going to try to induce some drifts so I could see how to handle them, but it wasn’t really that slick. There was somebody in a big truck that came was drifting around and doing donuts and kind of going crazy.
“But at least that way people are somewhat contained, because we were the only other people in the parking lot and we were headed out.”
Dimond Staff and Student Services Principal Chris Kleckner said, “I’ve seen drifting, we’ve had a lot of issues with it. It’s one of those things that we have expectations that you abide by a certain criteria or lose the privilege.”
Students who perform these dangerous driving practices cause a real danger to Dimond students and families during drop off and pick up times. Although there are cameras in the parking lot, there is very limited security and power that can be induced to stop these drivers.
Kleckner said, “With increased issues with reckless driving what we need to attempt to do is to identify those students it’s hard because were limited. I don’t have a lot of staff to be everywhere, especially at the end of the day.
“There’s cameras, the cameras we have they’re not necessarily the highest resolution out there. We can only identify the color, but we can’t tell you if it’s like a Honda, and we definitely can’t identify license plates.”
Koelsch said, “If there was more security then I don’t really know what they would do. I feel like a lot of kids think that they can’t really get into any trouble after the bell rings and they’re just trying to get home as fast as they can.
“I don’t think a lot of kids would stop for security because they wouldn’t think they had any real authority over them at this point, even though they technically would.”
The icy parking lot also causes problems for students walking into the building after parking their cars. Depending on where you park it can be a lengthy walk through snow and ice.
Dimond Junior Trinity Reagan said, “The parking lot can be really icy while walking into school. If I fall on the ice going into the building I would just leave and go home.”
Along with threats from reckless drivers, students have trouble parking correctly without the help from lines in the parking lot. If cars are not parked correctly, there is less parking space for students and it’s harder to find an open spot.
Dimond Junior Averyl Cobb said, “I don’t blame people for parking poorly in the snow, if the lines are covered I won’t be able to park perfectly, I’ll just park next to people.”
Koelsch said, “I guess it’s harder since there aren’t any lines, but I also think that people should put a little bit more effort into their parking by paying more attention to their surroundings.”
The long line of cars that forms at the end of each school day is extremely vulnerable to the icy parking lot, with cars bumping into each other and sliding while maneuvering around.
Koelsch said, “Most people I’ve seen during school hours have been pretty safe, though. Since I have sports and stuff after school I don’t leave during rush hour so I probably miss a lot of it.”
Over time as students begin to get used to the snow and icy conditions in the student parking lot things should hopefully be better. Until then, students are going to have to face the threats and inconveniences that come with winter road conditions.