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Priority Parking

Driving to school is a rite of passage for many high school students. You get a permit at 15 and 9 months, a license at 16 and 6 months, and a parking pass as a high school senior at B-CC. Before this year, the expectation was that any student, within reason, would be able to get a parking pass. After all, the newly constructed lot nearly doubled the number of parking spots, which would allow many seniors to park there.

Just four days before school started this year, it was posted in the class Facebook group that new new lot would no longer be available for students. The lot, advertised as the student parking lot during the duration of the renovation, was switched, just like that. Students gave no input.

According to many teachers, Mr Levine sent a survey out to the teachers asking them if they want to switch. Well of course when asked if you want to switch out your smaller, hard-to-access lot with the new spacious one, you will. Now don’t get me wrong. I totally understand why the lots were switched. Teachers work at the school and should get priority parking because there are more of them then seniors with cars. The issues I have with the situation are not regarding teachers, but administration. Students were given absolutely no input to the decision and were given hardly any warning to the change.

Trying to get out of school is an entirely different story. Unless they have an internship or  sport practice, students who drive generally leave school at the same time. But, there is only one exit of the new student lot because of the buses loading. The line to leave the lot took almost 30 minutes on the first day of school. But, this congestion could be solved if teachers returned to the lot, leaving throughout the afternoon and allowing for less of a traffic buildup on East West Highway. Congestion in the lots could also be solved if students were able to park in other areas, such as the Chelton lot but, surprise, that is also a staff only parking area. When I walked home during the first week of school, I walked through the staff lot and counted over 20 open spaces. Staff are not filling the lot and taking over the Chelton lot while students without passes are often forced to pay eight dollars a day at Waverly if they don’t have access to a neighborhood pass.

Now I know this is a very tall order and many, if not all, of these complaints are not likely to be changed. The teachers voted to change the parking situation and it will most likely not be changed back any time soon. There is one easy solution, however, that could fix much of the tension between seniors and administration. The line of around 10 parking spots reserved for administration spanning one entire side of the student parking lot could allow more students to park at school. There are also more than enough unused spots in the new staff lot for administration use. But as it has been shown before, from the very beginning of this conflict, administration hardly ever takes student criticism and this is unlikely to change.

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