Assigned parking system back for the school year

Brynn McGrail, Features Editor

This school year, the administration has changed the system of parking in which students are assigned a parking spot for the whole year. On the schedule pickup days this year, seniors were given first priority next to juniors.

Assigned parking was attempted two years ago but according to Dean of Students Don Burroughs, the system wasn’t managed well and it was more of a learning process.

For the 2018-2019 school year, students purchased parking spots, but they could park wherever in the lot.

Students now park in assigned spots according to their numbered parking passes. The change is new this year to eliminate worries of students not getting a spot in the lot.

“We thought it would be a good idea,” Burroughs said, “But we realized that wasn’t the best system for our student population.”

Many students could agree with administration that a change in the parking system was needed due to several problems.

“There was a worry everyday like ‘oh no I may not get a good spot’,” senior Maddie Hatton said. “There just wasn’t enough spots last year.”

According to Burroughs, last year there were issues with students without parking permits using the lot. With assigned passes, it is easier to know when people are taking spots without a permit, and therefore it is easier to eliminate that problem.

 

“People don’t have to come at 6:30 a.m. just to park,” junior Rena Ouyang said. “They know where they’re going and they don’t have to look for one or fight for a parking spot.”

With assigned parking, students have a guaranteed spot, but they also don’t get to choose a better spot for specific needs or issues. 

Ouyang had issues with her spot at the beginning of the year because there was a fruiting tree over her spot that stained her car as well as a tree branch preventing her from parking. She switched spots with someone with a smaller car to fix the problem.

“If you get a bad spot you can’t really change it,” Ouyang said. “There are also always a bunch of empty spots every day because people don’t drive everyday, so you could have parked closer but you can’t because of the assigned parking.”

Hatton said that with the system last year, she was able to get to school early to park in a spot closer to the school if she had plans to stay after school that day for different activities. 

However, as far as actually finding a spot in the morning, Hatton prefers the assigned parking.

 “Assigned parking works best” Hatton said. “I know where I’m going to park and I know it’s my spot.”

According to Burroughs, administration has addressed the concerns that arise with the assigned parking system and have found the assigned system to work well alongside issues in the lot. Burroughs said that with assigned parking, it is easy to directly speak to the students whose spots are being affected by an issue.

“The winter time will be a challenge once there’s snow piles, but I will be working with those individual students to find a better location for them during inclimate weather when they cannot get into their space,” Burroughs said.

Administration has also worked around students who are only at the school for half of the day to still have a parking spot, while utilizing all of the spots.

“Under several provisions they are being allowed to park in a different lot, but they have to wait until buses clear for safety,” Burroughs said. “That alone freed up probably two dozen or more spaces for full day students.”

Administration has been satisfied with the operation of the assigned parking as they continue to work around different issues surrounding parking spots.

“I really like what we have right now,” Burroughs said.