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Broomfield Traffic: Why Sometimes Less is Better

Having a car at BHS is a nightmare.
Broomfield Traffic: Why Sometimes Less is Better

Between 7:50 and 8:30 in the morning, 4/5 days every week, the streets around Broomfield High School become a battleground for those who get to school by vehicle.

Parking lots, including the junior, senior, and church lots are paywalled. Those who aren’t old enough, or can’t pay $50 or more, line up on neighborhood streets.

However, parking on Miramonte and Daphne is filled to the brim, leaving kids to debate whether parking in the yellow and potentially earning a ticket is worth a tardy.

Though, even then, where you can and can’t park is already hard enough to pinpoint with the lack of clear signs and faded paint.

Even if you do acquire a parking pass, it’s still a race to grab a spot before the lots are filled.

According to Sophia Cino (‘25), “It’s chaotic. The parking situation here at school is too small and too stressful. It’s unreasonable for people who live far away.”

For kids who can’t drive, parents wait in long lines to just drop their kids off at the front door, which they are required to do. After, they are hit with the equivalent of four lanes of converging traffic on the way out.

If they want to skip the hassle, they are left to drop kids off on either Daphne (usually in bus drop-off zones and the middle of traffic) or add to the line of cars waiting to leave the senior lot. All of which is technically against school rules.

Lines of parked cars on Daphne street.

The end of the day is no better.

After 3:55, kids rush to get to their car in order to beat traffic, desperate to go home from a long day of school.

The small entrances and exits of these parking lots become a traffic jam of students honking, and adding to the corral of kids leaving the neighborhood, parents picking students back up, staff exiting the staff lot, and school buses on their usual routes.

“Imagine sitting in a stop-go situation on a highway, but instead of a highway it’s a high school parking lot,” said Dylan Cannon (‘24). “You have to stay here 10-15 minutes after the school day ends just to avoid traffic at all.”

Everyone leaves just as fast as they arrive. Every day is the same chaos, filled with tight cramps and even more headaches for students, staff, and parents alike. A large majority of these drivers are high schoolers who tend to make impulsive decisions.

Nobody wins on this battlefield.

But why is there a battlefield in the first place? Simple answer: Overcapacity.

Many Eagles here at BHS have experienced the cramped tightness of the hallways inside the building.

The streets completely mirror conditions around the school. The same reason why hallways and classrooms are overpopulated is why parking and traffic around the school is so stressful.

Though, this overcapacity is distinctive to Broomfield. Unlike the current drop in enrollment to much of BVSD as a whole, BHS “Is in a unique situation of evergrowing open enrollment,“ said a Broomfield Staff member who wished to remain anonymous. The counselors estimate that about 49% of the school population is open-enrolled.

“We are bursting at the seams with our largest student body to date.”

A great number of these students come from places outside Broomfield where you can’t just walk to school. They have to get to school by bus or by car.

The school already struggles to hold more students than the building may be able to handle.

According to the BVSD website, in early August of 2020, total headcount was around 1,558 students. Already a lot of people. Last year around the same time, the school jumped to 1,679 students. This year, we have only grown more in size, to around 1,700+ kids. This means more seats, more cars, and less space.

Broomfield High School is a reasonably old school as well. Founded in the 1960s at around half the size the school is today, Broomfield was not made to cater to the population of kids and their cars.

Even the modern add-ons to the building and its parking lots still are not enough to handle the problems of an ever-growing population.

Senior lot traffic after school.

Although we can’t just expect Broomfield to expand its boundaries into the neighborhood around the school (that would be entirely unreasonable and probably a little evil), it is also not fair to blame the space problem entirely on Broomfield either.

Broomfield is located smack dab in the middle of a suburban neighborhood with a small boundary to begin with.

What we can do is work with what we have now. We should strive to make the parking lots we have more organized, larger, more affordable, and less likely to risk serious troubles.

BHS should encourage more open parking for those who can’t earn a parking pass and not require parent drop-off to be just at the front of the school when the drop-off zone is already lined down the street.

However, the main issue with school parking and traffic is our overcapacity of kids. Our school is relatively small compared to other larger schools we share the same district, yet enrollment is still exploding.

Why do we keep taking in kids we struggle to handle? It all boils down to district finances.

Essentially, since it’s too expensive for newer and younger families to move to Boulder, schools along the west in BVSD are shrinking. This is important because the money the district receives from the state is dictated by student enrollment.

The district is left to flounder and make schools outside Boulder (like Broomfield and Centaurus) accept as many students as possible in hopes of retaining enough funding from the state.

BVSD needs this funding to pay teachers and fund other functions that keep schools running. But at the same time, it only feels like Broomfield and other schools are taking the brunt of the issue.

“We feel it in the classrooms, we feel it in the hallways, and we feel it in both student and staff parking,” said the same Broomfield High staff member.

The problems of parking and traffic here at BHS are just one symptom of an underlying issue we feel as Eagles. But it is one of the most prominent symptoms we face every day.

More does not equal better. Sometimes less can be more beneficial in making peace and stopping a continuous battle down the streets of Broomfield.

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About the Contributor
Sam Remington, Staff
Samantha (Sam) Remington is a senior this year at Broomfield High and in her first year on the Eagle Way. While she isn’t at school or work, Sam is indulging in hobbies like drawing, reading, and listening (a little too much) to her favorite music. Overall she would rather spend her weekend in her room forgetting to eat lunch while engrossed in a project than out and about. However, that doesn’t mean she isn’t down for a trip with her friends. From a big family and a triplet to two brothers, Sam is used to chaos and working hard to achieve her goals. This year she desires to work on the Eagle Way as a writer and an editorial cartoonist, hoping to add her creative flair to her future projects.

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  • J

    JoeBranchJan 17, 2024 at 1:21 pm

    Car-centric cities and schools are rampant. The school and its associates should promote and encourage alternative transportation options such as rideshare, bicycles and car-pooling amongst the student body. Also, in this day and age, some students live within a mile from school, yet require to be driven to/from school? Like royalty. And parents accommodate the madness. You all know who you are.