Administration steps up enforcement in parking lot to combat overcrowding

February 8, 2018 — by Alexandra Li and Jeffrey Xu

On the Monday back from the winter break, student cars poured into the front parking lot as the first bell rang, all frantically searching for a parking space. None were available.

When administrators arrived in the lot, they discovered that many of the parked cars did not have parking permits. The perpetrators were students who had driven without purchasing a permit and parents and community members who were walking on the track and chose to park in the student lot due to the rainy weather.

In theory, there should have been spaces available for those with permits. According to activities secretary Anna Ybarra, the school has only sold 337 parking permits so far this year for approximately 350 spots available for students.

In response to the violations, administrators had about 40 cars ticketed and had individual conversations with the parents and community members reminding them that they had to park in the visitor lot when they come on campus. The next day, there were again plenty of open spaces in the student parking lots, and both students and adults began abiding by the rules again.

To make sure the problem did not reappear, the administration met and decided to open the first two rows of the staff/visitor lot to students. Since then, the administration has observed the parking lots daily and found there to be an average of 20 spots open, mostly in the lot closest to the Sports Plaza.

The following day, fearing that they had sold too many parking permits, the administration created a waitlist for the further sale of parking permits.

Once they realized that the problem had been resolved, the Activities Office resumed selling parking permits to those on the waitlist; there are still plenty of open parking spaces.

Junior Mark Guidry was one of the first students to be temporarily placed on the waitlist after attempting to purchase a permit on Jan. 9.

“It surprised me because it always looked like there were open spots that were left over,” Guidry said. “It had never happened before in previous years, so I didn’t really understand where the problem came from.”

While some believed that the sudden lack of available parking spaces was caused by sophomores gaining the ability to purchase parking permits, assistant principal Brian Thompson said sophomores can receive parking permits only on a need basis.

The issue that remains is that many students still complain about not being able to get the best parking spots, and put the blame on the administration.

“My answer to that is if you want a priority parking spot, come earlier,” Thompson said.

Thompson also reminded students that taking steps toward being more conservation-minded, such as carpooling, biking or walking can also alleviate the parking lot congestion.

“The community members were great once we reminded them that they should park in the visitor lot,” Thompson said. “From the kids, the response was more of embarrassment that they got caught and they chose not to do it again. It really isn’t a problem. It’s just one day where people broke the rules.”