Parking mad


photo by Maggie Taylor

Sophomores Victoria Hayward and Elaina Butler buy their parking passes in the auditorium.

No designated spaces, no painted spots, and a fear of chaos in the student parking lot.

Students wonder why changes to the parking system were made in the first place, but the most recent changes were made to increase the number of people who could park on campus.

In 2019-2020, the parking lot will consist of three flex lots: the current student parking lot, the current flex lot, and a portion of the staff/parent drop off lot. These areas are designated as red, yellow and green zones respectively. The flex zone that students are assigned to is dependent on the number of classes they have on campus. Students who have five to seven classes on campus are assigned to the red zone (main lot), those with four to five classes to the yellow zone (current flex lot), and those with three or fewer to the green zone (staff/parent drop off lot).

“It is kind of like you are off to the mall, and whatever space is available to you based on when you get there is what you get,” athletic director Jay Getty, who is overseeing the changes said.

Last year, administration was unable to give parking passes to 58 juniors and seniors. The goal of the changes is to lower the number of people who are not able to buy a parking pass.

“It would benefit not only the students, but us as well, so there are not as many kids who continually try to skirt the system, so we don’t have to chase them on a regular basis,” Getty said.

A major concern surrounding the introduction of multiple flex lots is the potential increase in traffic. To combat this, administration will put both a deputy and a security officer in the lots to maintain safety and conduct. Despite these precautions, some students are frustrated with the new changes. Sophomore Charles Ellis is worried about the correlation of time students arrive and where they park.

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“It’s kind of ridiculous, and it is very inconvenient if you have to carry a bunch of stuff on that particular day,” Ellis said.

While students preferred having their own designated spot in the morning, the adjustment does not allow for this to remain.

“Now even if you came to school a couple of minutes later – still well before 7:20 – your optimal spot may have been taken by someone else,” junior Neel Maity said.

Although students are not happy with the changes, they still find that buying a parking pass is necessary, especially for students who live farther from the school, or those who take classes off campus.

“I live 25 minutes away from the school, and I don’t like riding the bus. I want to be able to get to school on my own time, and having a parking pass enables me to do that,” Ellis said.

The introduction of all flex lots have ended the option of painted parking spots. However, administration feels like this is not a pressing matter.

“There were only 28 of them last year. If that is a small piece that we have to deal with, but we get to service another 20 to 25 kids, that is a trade-off that we are willing to make,” Getty said.

Students who could not buy a parking pass during the school year will be able to purchase one on July 31 at 8 a.m. during schedule pickup for $70.