Parking tensions plague students


Photo courtesy of: Mya Padilla

Parking in the senior lot (pictured) is so crowded this year, select students have been given passes for the faculty lot.

Mya Padilla, Assistant Editor-in-Chief

The senior and faculty parking lots have already caused many conflicts this year, including speeding through spots, cutting off other drivers, and overall frustration from students and faculty. 

  Students were made aware of the penalties for parking violations during their class meetings with the hope of having safer student drivers on our campus.

   Principal Dr. Brian Fellows directs traffic flow at the side entrance of the building, giving him the chance to see if people, especially students, are being conscientious of their surroundings as they drive on school property. 

  “When situations of unsafe driving happen, we identify the car and talk to the driver. If it’s a situation where we can’t talk to the driver at that moment, we will still have a conversation later. Certainly, if it becomes a repetitive problem with that driver, we will take their pass away,” Dr. Fellows said.

  With more driving students than there are spots this year, there was destined to be tension. Administrators have granted the senior class a majority of parking spots in the student lot; however, in order to provide some juniors with spaces, select seniors were given passes to park in the back of the faculty lot to make extra space. 

  “Traditionally, there are very few spots for others once the senior class is completed. To help alleviate the issue so that all 498 seniors could get a spot if they could legally obtain and use one, we decided the faculty lot was our best option for space,” Assistant Principal Laura McKinney said. “Otherwise, it could have been possible that no juniors would have been able to park.” 

   Students with passes for the faculty lot have faced their own challenges.

   “My issue with the faculty lot is that parents will pull up and fully park in parking spaces, which is a hazard to all students and drivers. I’ve seen parents park in the faculty lot, get out of the car and chat,” senior Abby Moes said. “Another thing I’m not particularly happy about is teachers tend to park in the row we have, which makes it difficult to find spaces.”  

   Senior Carter Huffman has noticed the same trend in parent drop-offs in the faculty lot, despite the fact that parents and guardians have been repeatedly told that student drop-offs must occur along the curb on the visitor side of the parking lot.  

   “I’m not a fan of the faculty lot; it’s always full because parents park in a spot to drop off their kids, and sometimes students [without faculty lot passes] won’t park in the student parking and will just take a spot in the faculty parking,” Huffman said. “I will say it’s great for getting out, but getting in is challenging.”

  Beyond the capacity challenges, new drivers who just got their licenses over the summer have now just gotten parking passes. Although students have their licenses, they still might be getting used to maneuvering their cars in tight and crowded spaces. This can lead to some accidents and near-misses in the student lots. 

  “I also find that new drivers that haven’t gotten used to controlling the car have become a problem. I’ve almost gotten hit getting into my spot,” Huffman said.

  Both students and administrators remain hopeful that as the school year continues, people will become more familiar with the parking dilemmas, and transitions in drop-off and pick-up go more smoothly.