Lack of Parking Causes Uproar

Mary Miller, Editor-in-Chief

Just before spring break, junior Claire Cox started a petition to open the band parking lot to students during the spring semester. With 67 students having signed already, the petition is gaining traction. 

There are currently three parking lots open for students including the red, gray, and pink lots that have 326, 157 and 100 parking spaces respectively. Currently, 404 parking passes have been purchased for the 2019-2020 school year.

Many students are becoming frustrated with the lack of parking in the gray lot, a problem Cox sought to address.

“For most people, it is important [to park in gray lot] because it’s closer to their activities like band, orchestra and JROTC,” Cox said.“Those are mostly the people who stay after school.”

While it is an undisputed fact that the gray lot has a population problem, there are still two other lots for students to park in.

“[Officer St. Pe’ and I] did an assessment of the parking lot,” principal Dr. Leslie Guajardo said. “During second period there were about 75 open spots between the pink and red lots.”

In response to the lack of space in the gray lot, students have begun parking in the tennis and softball parking lots, otherwise referred to as the pink lot. While this is a student parking lot, many were not aware it was an option, including the security staff as students who’ve parked their cars in the pink lot have come back to find parking violation stickers on their windows. However, this issue has been clarified between Guajardo and the security staff, and students should no longer be reprimanded for parking in the pink lot unless they do not have a student parking pass.

In previous years, students have had to pick which parking lot they would like to park in for the year at the same time they applied for their parking pass. This year, when students purchased a parking pass, they were given permission to park in any of the student parking lots.

“When we [make students choose a lot] there’s going to be students in the fall who say ‘but in the fall I need the red lot and in the spring I need the gray lot.’ We’re trying to make it easier for students to park anywhere,” Guajardo said.

Some students, however, support going back to the old system.

“Many people who used to park in red lot began parking in gray lot,” senior Chloe Foster said, “I have been parking in gray lot since I got my car and I would like to continue parking in gray lot but there are a limited number of spaces.”

A potential cause of the overcrowding issue is students parking without a parking permit. However, the administration plans to start cracking down on students parking illegally. 

“I think that’s going to open a good 30 spots is my guess,” said Guajardo, “I think once we clean that up this spring, there will be more parking spots.”

With next year’s projected student population to be 2,480, the band parking lot will need to be opened to students in the future to accommodate the growth. In addition, expansion of the building and possibly more parking spaces are also in the school’s future plans.

“We will be expanding our building soon,” Guajardo said. “With that expansion, hopefully, we will get more parking.”