The Paly Voice

Admin urges walking, biking Friday due to Stanford traffic

Grant Raffel, Author

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The Palo Alto High School area will be teeming with 50,000 Stanford football fanatics Friday, not to mention numerous high school soccer players and choir singers.

The result? No parking for the football fans, while all Paly student and parent-drivers should expect delays.

Due to a 3:25 p.m. finish to the school day and numerous Paly events that afternoon, the administration has decided not to allow Stanford fans to park at Paly while urging students to bike or walk to school, according to Assistant Principal Kim Diorio.

This game even taking place is due to the success of the Stanford football team, which defeated the University of California, Los Angeles, last week for the right to face it for the second time in six days, this time as the host in the second-ever Pacific-12 Conference Championship football game at 5 p.m. on Friday.

Not only will Stanford be a crowded mess, but Paly has its share of action as well. The girls’ soccer team is hosting a four-team tournament, with games at both 4 and 6 p.m. Adding to the already busy parking lots, Paly Choir will hold its Madrigal dress rehearsal and normal after-school sports practices will take place.

“With all the different events that were already scheduled and with it being a full school day going until 3:25, we thought it would be too much of a safety issue if we were to try to also do Stanford parking on campus,” Diorio said.

Students should plan ahead and expect delays, especially after school, when getting in and out of the parking lot could be particularly problematic. Diorio encourages them to walk or bike to avoid the traffic congestion.

“Traffic’s going to be pretty bad,” Diorio said. “If you have a seventh period prep, you might want to leave campus sooner rather than later.”

The Palo Alto Police Department will be present throughout the area directing traffic and setting up traffic flow, as it usually does. Diorio also says that Paly will have people monitoring the entrances to the parking lots, ensuring that incoming traffic is all Paly-related.

“We’re going to have people hired from about noon to 5 or 6 p.m. at each of the entrances who will check to make sure that folks driving in and out of campus are here to either pick up or drop off a Paly student or are here for the soccer tournament or the Madrigal dress rehearsal,” Diorio said.

Diorio indicated that she and the rest of the administration are trying to get the word out that there will be no Stanford-related parking allowed Friday afternoon. Students and parents received an email Tuesday morning with the news while Paly staff and appropriate Stanford officials will also be notified, she said.

On most Stanford football game days, which are almost always Saturdays, Paly charges stadium-goers $20 to park in the Embarcadero and Churchill lots. This is a significant fundraising event for the Palo Alto Unified School District, which distributes the funds to many different clubs and organizations, namely at Paly and Gunn High School.

“I was hoping the game would be a Saturday game,” Diorio said. “It stinks; we could have made lots of money.”

Assistant Principal Kathy Laurence joked that the only way to open up the lots to Stanford parking would be to have a minimum day. But, she and Diorio agreed that was not a realistic possibility.

Check The Voice and our twitter feed (@thepalyvoice) for coverage Friday afternoon.

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