Let’s Talk About Parking…

Ramie Ruble, Editor-in-Chief

For student drivers and teachers alike, school parking is a nightmare.  There are not enough parking spots to accommodate everyone who drives to school.  Those who have off periods, ACC, or Ready Set Teach at the beginning of the day have an especially hard time attempting to find a parking spot when they get to school.  If none are to be found, students can park at the tennis lot and take the long walk into to the school.  If that is full, either the band practice field or spots of questionable legality (ex. parking at the end of lots, around the roads, etc.) become the next option.  However, parking in places such as the band field and at the end of lots can lead to a ticket.  These little $5 tickets start to add up after a while.  If you don’t pay them off, the school can keep you from graduating or exempting finals.

On top of being ticked for everything under the sun, students also have to pay a ridiculous amount of money for a simple parking tag.  Is $65 for a parking pass at the beginning of the year really necessary?  Sure the cost goes down over the school year, but it is still a lot to pay to park at a school paid for by our parent’s tax money.  My question is: where does all the money go?  I have never seen or heard of how the school benefits from these sales.  Almost every student and teacher I know has no clue how this revenue helps the school.

The school never stops selling passes all year round, even though there are not enough parking spaces for all the passes being sold.  On top of having too many passes and not enough spots, teachers sometimes try to park in student lots simply because they do not want to park in the teacher lot and take a long walk around a construction zone.  Teachers have been told time and time again to park in the teacher lot, but they still continue to park in student lots.

There needs to be a solution to this parking crisis, as the student population and number of drivers continues to grow.  This simply cannot happen next year.  Though it may be harsh, it is time for more drastic limits on who can drive to school, such as a limited amount of parking passes being sold (first come, first served), or not letting sophomores drive (they can suck it up and ride the bus for another year, or get a ride with an upperclassman).  Not only that, but the district could start running an after school activity bus for students who stay for extra-curriculars, thus cutting down the need to drive to school.  Another thing that could be taken into consideration is to give teachers an assigned parking spot in the teacher lot so more spots would be made available in the student lots.  Perhaps the easiest way to help everyone find a parking spot would be to carpool.  It’s not hard to find a friend in your activity and take turns driving to and from school and practice.  It not only cuts down the number of cars in the parking lot, but helps save on gas.

All-in-all, there needs to be some viable solution to the parking disaster as it simply cannot go on.  The administration needs to take into account student and teacher ideas to solve the parking dilemma.  The student population will continue to grow, and the situation will only get worse.  A solution needs to be found now, before it becomes too hard to counteract the disaster.