Parking is not an administrative problem

September 9, 2015 — by Kevin Chow

Lack of parking is a problem that some students encounter, but only a problem in the way that lack of VIP seating might be a discomfort. On a normal school day, there is always space to park a car. The problem is in which parking lot will students park.

To complicate matters, one row of senior parking was converted into staff parking due to Measure E construction.

Now, seniors and juniors are forced to negotiate between the parking spaces that remain.

 

It’s 7:50 a.m. As the cars line up at the entrance of the school parking lot, a feeling of dread settles in one student’s stomach. Upon pulling into the senior parking lot, he is faced with a terrible sight: Every parking space, including the junior lot, is filled. He concludes that he’s either not going to class today or going to have to park in that “other” lot.

Located at the far edge of the school campus near the tennis courts, the other lot — once known as the sophomore lot — bodes of a long trek all the way from the car to the front of the school.

By the thinnest of margins, he chooses to walk the two extra minutes.

Lack of parking is a problem that some students encounter, but only a problem in the way that lack of VIP seating might be a discomfort. On a normal school day, there is always space to park a car. The problem is in which parking lot will students park.

Traditionally, the middle lot at the front of school is divided into two sections each composed of three rows: the senior lot and the junior lot.

To complicate matters, one row of senior parking was converted into staff parking due to Measure E construction.

Now, seniors and juniors are forced to negotiate between the parking spaces that remain.

A possible solution is to move juniors to the former sophomore parking lot, now that sophomores are no longer allowed to purchase parking permits.

Restricting parking access for sophomores, while unfortunate for the students who would have been able to park previous years, certainly benefits upperclassmen and staff members who now have more parking spaces.

Either way, the basic system of parking permits works well, and the administration has no reason to change a policy that is both efficient and popular with other schools in our area.

Many high schools in our area use a system of permits similar to the one SHS offers, and that’s proven to be the fairest way of allocating student parking without charging the $200 (or more) per space that some schools do.

Sticking closely with our current parking policy is the best option, unless we’re willing to build a parking structure. Which isn’t actually an option. It’s not so much about changing the system as it is about simply moving juniors to the former sophomore lot.

If this were to happen, the situation for the juniors might seem unfair. But when put into perspective, the extra distance from the sophomore lot to the front of the school is far from fatal.

Perhaps a better way to deal with lack of parking is to reduce the number of cars that have to park. In our relatively small community, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find someone with whom to carpool.

Though carpooling may be a hassle, with effective coordination, carpooling on a large scale will greatly reduce traffic and greenhouse gas emissions.

In the same way, biking or even walking to school is a viable option for many students.

In the end, it’s not up to the administration to completely change the parking system, but it should sort out the disputes between juniors and seniors.

And to those who end up having to park in the former sophomore lot, at least you’re getting more exercise.

 
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