The cycle of parking problems

With parking spots being consistently taken and minimal follow up coming to fruition as promised on the back of parking passes, many seniors feel invalidated and wonder why they purchased a pass in the first place.

Photo courtesy of Rebecca Soldow

With parking spots being consistently taken and minimal follow up coming to fruition as promised on the back of parking passes, many seniors feel invalidated and wonder why they purchased a pass in the first place.

Students rely on senior parking passes for convenient commutes and departures, but with problems arising from the system, students have begun to wonder regarding the passes’ reliability.

A central complaint from frustrated seniors is the domino effect that is created once someone takes another’s designated spot. When a student gets stranded with having to find a space, their schedule is disrupted, compounding further tension.

“It has happened to me around five to ten times,” stated senior Drew Beckett. “It’s quite infuriating, especially when I have work after school at four and have to rush home to get ready, and when I’m parked far away from my normal spot, I usually get stuck in traffic and have a few close calls.”

In some cases, the time dedicated to finding a parking space can result in a school consequence, which worries drivers who see the issue as unjust.

“My friends have gone to the office because one of my friends got a tardy, and that can lead to a detention, and I feel like that’s a big problem,” pointed out senior Jack Radio.

Not only that, these scenarios are not necessarily done at a student’s hand. These instances typically happen during school events or when the student was away from school for some time, and therefore, a ticket has been evaded.

“I’ve had multiple friends who have clearly had issues with getting parking spaces taken. Most of them were taken by parents,” said Radio.

Although aggravating to victims, this hassle is not specifically a fault of the parking passes. Obtaining a senior parking pass costs $200 on a first-come, first-serve basis and therefore the feeling of being “robbed” emerges among angered parkers.

“I feel like it’s ridiculous that the school can charge $200 for a parking ticket, and then the student’s spot gets taken, giving them tardies, leading to detention. They shouldn’t have to pay to have a problem,” expressed Radio.

Amid all these grievances, the cycle continues with no explicit effort to end them. There are ways that staff combat specific cases, but the effectiveness of so is contested.

“I went to the office twice, both times with Mr. Adams, and he was very kind and said he would ticket the cars,” said Beckett. “Both times were very simple and easy to fix. In my opinion, the admins get it fixed easily, and nothing should be changed in that matter.”

There is an inconsistent fight to help students solve parking pains. In some cases, staff show up attentive and open to solutions, while in other cases, they dismiss and ignore the situation.

“There was a choir event going on at the school and a parent attending that event parked in my spot, forcing me to go and park in the visitor spot. I did inform the office that this occurred. They really didn’t do anything,” said senior Sean Hood, who had much less closure to his problem.

Seniors have thought of methods that the school could perhaps utilize in order to prevent more trouble from occurring in the parking lots.

“Posting signs at the entrance to the school saying that numbered spots are reserved for students only during school operating hours,” proposed Hood. “I think that’s a fairly cheap and effective solution that really just shows that they take any effort at all to mitigate this problem.”

Some students show an understanding of why the issue is taking place, but still desire compensation in some form for their parking trouble. 

“I understand that [the administration] can’t completely regulate every single spot, but it may be nice to put signs up on the ones that get parked in often. College parking is around $80 per semester, so it is cheaper but not a guaranteed spot. I agree with the price, but with my spot being taken a multitude of times, I believe either compensation or matching the price of a college to be more favorable,” suggested Beckett.

This parking pass puzzle has greatly affected seniors. With inconsistent attention from administration and several proposed fixes, it appears to be a multifaceted issue with no clear resolution in sight.

When asked what three words best describe his opinions on the dilemma, Beckett replied, “Frustration, anger, disappointment.”

Parking stress and the symptoms brought upon from it can be challenging to understand, but with a focus on the matter by dissatisfied students, preventative progress can be brought about.

Looking ahead, seniors hope to negotiate the price of parking spots and create a reliable parking system at the school.