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What Does Colorado Springs School District 11 Have Against Parking? Lots.
It's Not Even The Total Lack of Parking Spaces
My children have been students in District 11 for about 6 years.
I always begrudgingly put up with the lack of parking spaces at Howbert Elementary; my frustration, however, never extended beyond me angrily mumbling to myself that there are never, ever, ever enough places to park and how the monkey-brained city worker who planned the parking area should be tarred and feathered, and then maybe strung up by his toes.
For 6 years, I have put up with having to arrive 45 minutes early to secure one of the few available parking spaces; if I arrive just 5 minutes later, I know that I will be parking, like an outcast, at least three blocks away from the school.
We live quite far from Howbert, so walking is not an option.
I've also put up with the absurdly bad parking situation at North Middle School for 4 years, and have, until now, kept my complaints to myself.
But ya know what? I'm done being quiet. The situation around Palmer High School before, during and after school is so unacceptably dangerous and frustrating, I'm wondering how more students haven't been injured or killed; that there aren't more accidents is astounding.
I could blame corruption, but corruption implies that people are working together towards a larger goal. No ... this stems from a problem that seems to have plagued Colorado Springs for many years: Stubbornness. An unwillingness to change. The pathological need to maintain the status quo, regardless of how dumb the status quo may be.
Who is more guilty in this scenario? I couldn't say. The City of Colorado Springs has numerous intersections at which there should be left turn arrows, and for whatever reason, they just will not install them. D-11, on the other hand, uses tea leaves and a ouija board to decide snow days. (I've heard Professor Trelawney is on the payroll.)
How Many Buses Does One School Need?
Palmer has a lot of buses ... and I noticed that very few of them are even half full.
My graduating class was nearly 1000 people. The junior class was even bigger, the sophomores had an even bigger class, and the Freshman class was the biggest of all! And surprisingly, even though many of us lived about 10 miles away from the school - I had to take a bus home every day - we did not have as many buses as Palmer at our school every afternoon. They certainly did not take up three city blocks.
Yes, three city blocks. No one is allowed to park, stop or stand on Weber St. between St. Vrain and Platte, or on Boulder St. between Nevada St. and Weber St. And the buses don't even stop and load between St. Vrain and Boulder, they just pull over there to wait for a minute before going further up the road!
But don't you even think about waiting there! Because you will get a scolding!
Are bus kids not allowed to cross a road? High school students are allowed to cross the road to go to their own cars (and drive the death machines all over town), they are allowed to cross several roads to walk home and they are allowed to cross Nevada to go downtown .... but they can't cross any road to get on a bus? These are high school students, right?
An Unnecessary Bus Stop
Again, my daughter has only been at Palmer for one year, so maybe there is something I don't understand.
Really, maybe that's it. I just don't understand the need for a city bus stop that takes up valuable parking and/or standing space at the corner of Weber and Boulder that I have never seen anyone use. I have never seen any kids waiting there. A stop that could easily be moved one block to the south.
So move it one block. To the south. And free up the space for probably three cars. Because at this point, it stays there out of stubbornness and Colorado Spring's resistance to change.
How Many Points for the One in the Pink T-Shirt?
There are no left turn arrows at any intersection around Palmer High School. Why are there no left turn arrows around Palmer High School?
Is the practice we get avoiding distracted teenage pedestrians supposed to improve our Frogger score?
Because frankly, I have lost count of how many dumb Palmer students have wandered out in front of my car, headphones securely inserted in their ears, eyes glued to their phones, crossing against the light. Do you want them to get injured or killed?
There is, however, an easy solution to this issue. First: Add the left-turn arrows. Then, reprogram all the walk signs so that no one is allowed to cross when cars are moving through the intersections. Then, add walk signs so that people can cross diagonally through the intersection. That last one is the most important, because it gets people to their destination faster, which would get cars moving faster.
They have these signs at many intersections in downtown Denver, and from experience, I know they work very well.
Why Can't You Move the General?
I know why his balls are blue. No, seriously. I know why.
But let's get back to the "why." WHY is an old, sentimental, valuable statue sitting in the middle of one of Colorado Spring's busiest roads in a congested downtown area? I kind of get that you're attached to the old guy and maybe seeing him all the time brings you comfort and strengthens your faith in humanity. I seriously doubt, though, that moving General William Palmer may somehow incur the wrath of the Gods.
Don't you think that someday, something might happen to him .... you know, like a semi-truck bashing him to bits on an icy day? Do you not think that maybe moving him to Acacia Park or to the front courtyard of Palmer would maybe be a more practical location for a giant metal guy on horseback?
I know what moving General Palmer would do: It would take a giant block of rock out of the middle of a congested road so that the high school students venturing out in their cars in search of lunch would not explore new and exciting ways to make left turns around, behind and near the General. Tourists don't do so great with him, either.
One of two things will eventually happen: Either the streets will be closed down and made into pedestrian mall, or he will have to be moved because someone is instantly killed after running into him during a police chase at 80 mph.
How Much Money Do I Need To Spend?
You should remind the fast food places near Palmer that our students are the reason they are able to stay in business; I doubt the homeless buy a lot of burgers or drink many Slurpees.
The owners of 7/11 and McDonald's and Taco Bell should be reminded - and reminded often - that our students provide the bulk of their income. If my child eats at that McDonald's every day, I have paid for the right to wait in that parking lot for a few minutes after school. Heck, they might even be hungry enough to buy more food!
Their money is the same as everyone else's, right?