Parking problems

Ticketing, towing and trouble with parking

By Sophia Zogry, Reporter

Picture it, you wake up and drive to LHS, ready to start your day. You pull into the North parking lot, feeling optimistic about what’s to come.

You drive through the rows, and slowly this optimism turns to dread. Weaving through the rows of cars, there are no empty spots. You frantically look, going around the parking lot again and again, with no such luck.

You look at the clock and see there’s two minutes to the bell. You have a couple of options, you can either drive all the way to the South lot, or you can park in the Teacher lot. If you go to the South lot, you’ll have to weave your way around construction and park there. However, this will add about five minutes to your time, that is if you still have your key card and you get to school before 8:15.

You decide you don’t want to risk getting locked out, whether by the doors or the gates that close into the courtyard, so you choose to park in one of the many empty spots in the teacher’s lot.

This is a problem for many students, including myself. A majority of the time, if you don’t get to school at 8:00, there are no spots in the student parking lot left. This forces you to park in the teacher’s lot, risking getting ticketed or towed. Students have expressed their concern for the lack of parking and the inaccessibility of the South parking lot, one of whom being senior Frances Parker. 

“I don’t have a first hour, so most days I get to school around 8:40, and by that time, all of the student parking is taken up,” Parker said. “I sometimes have to park in the very back of the teacher’s lot.”

With the lack of available parking in the North lot, classes become less accessible. Many students’ first classes are at the front of the building, and the front doors are always unlocked. Being forced to park in the South lot causes many problems, mainly due to the fact that the doors lock at 8:15. This means that regardless if you have a working key card, you can’t get in those back doors if you get to school later on. 

Although this is a problem for students, teachers are affected by this lack of parking as well. Due to the influx of students parking in the staff lot, many staff members don’t have anywhere to park, whether it be in the mornings or after lunch. 

“Teachers, building staff, and district staff arrive at different times during the day due to other commitments and need access to the staff parking areas,” administrator Greg Farley said.

As we’ve seen, this lack of parking is a problem for everyone at the school and is something that needs to be dealt with. So how do we fix this? 

There is no one solution that will help to resolve this problem, but many that can work together in order to form a working solution. 

First, addressing the locked doors. While the doors are locked for student and staff safety, it’s important that students are able to get into the building in order to get to their classes. Keeping the doors locked in a way that allows for key card access should be the first step in solving this problem. Making sure that students have working key cards is also an important step, and reiterating the importance of those key cards is vital. 

The next thing that needs to be done is to allocate more spots in the North lot to students on certain days. The amount of staff in the building varies from day to day, reflected by the number of cars parked in the lot. On most days, the back spots of the teacher lot are relatively empty, so allocating one or two rows at the very back on certain days of the week when there is fewer staff in the building will help to relieve the parking stress from students. While we can’t create more spots, this will help to make better use of the spots we already have.

Parking is always an issue at high schools, no matter the size of the parking lots or the number of spots assigned to students. As a school, we can work together to solve the problem, for at least some of the time. Not only will tweaking the locks and allocating more spaces to students be beneficial to students, but the tension between students and staff will hopefully lighten, making the school a less stressful place for everyone.