Plans to alleviate morning, after-school traffic approved

Harlow Frank, Jonathan Spahr, Christopher Sarenana, and Maria Ruiz

Marjina Haque

Itzel Luna
School counselor Martina Torres makes no cars turn left at the exit toward Balboa Boulevard.

Students are familiar with the chorus of beeping horns, frustrated drivers, motionless cars and the constant threat of an accident that comes with their morning commute.

In just a few years, people who drive to school will no longer enter and exit through the two gates they’ve grown accustomed to. 

A plan to build a new entrance in front of Daniel Pearl Magnet High School (DPMHS) has been approved by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). The campus parking lot along Balboa Boulevard will be designed to provide a single opening to enter and exit through the middle of the lot. The chain-link fence gate would be replaced with a rolling door and a new gate, coupled with leveled out and revamped asphalt.

Given its proximity to four other LAUSD schools on Balboa, DPMHS is part of what LAUSD refers to as a complex, which is a “defined group of schools or administrative sites.” Because of this, any structure built for DPMHS’s parking lot would directly affect these other schools, which is part of the reason it took such a long time to draft a parking plan.

While there is no set date for construction, Principal Pia Damonte hopes the finished renovation will help to decrease the stagnant traffic which plagues DPMHS. She also thinks the new entrance will also make for a safer commute for the schools surrounding DPMHS.

“This setup would bring fewer traffic incidents and incidents in general because we have so many people moving through such a small space,” Damonte said. “It would be a very big project because part of it would be making the service road one way, getting city permits and the funding as well. There’s a lot that needs to happen before any type of construction occurs.”

The problem concerning safety in DPMHS’s parking lot has been a consistent problem shortly after the school opened in 2010.   Past articles have stressed the need for a safer alternative to the current parking situation.

“This situation is especially frustrating because students are not dropped off quickly,” the Post’s 2016 editorial said. “This causes the line of traffic to  build down Balboa Blvd. and the risk of  having a large car accident increase.”

Measures have also been taken in previous school years to combat the hectic intersection part of the complex. Stage One, a plan to create two entrance


While the new entrance does not exist, students who drive to school now are eager to see a substantial replacement to what they consider a hectic parking plan.

“I don’t know what the effects would be, but if it makes traffic in the morning any better I’m for it,” senior Rami Chaar said. “I drive to school every day and traffic can be a real problem sometimes.”