Drive on In!

Siri Yendluri, Senior Opinions Editor

This year, 50 teachers have given up their parking spaces so that more students can park in the parking lot. These teachers now park at St. Christopher School which traded some of its parking lot so that its students can play in the Pres field.

Principal Mary Miller explained the rationale behind this trade: “Pres has a field that goes unused most of the school day. St Chris students have no field–just blacktop for their recess and PE classes. St Chris has a large parking lot; Pres has serious parking issues. Why not strike a deal that is a win-win for both schools? We are friends with St Chris, so it makes it easier.”

Last year, Pres received many complaints from neighbors about students parking in front of their houses, causing a lot of unrest about where to park. Students now find many unnumbered spots available to them because of the trade the teachers made.

So has this new deal helped the students with their parking troubles? Senior Alice Mathew said that she has mixed feelings about the new parking: “Because of the extra spots, I can come a little later and still get a spot. At the same time, I sometimes rely on the fact that if I come late, I can just park on Jenvey and run to school. But I can’t do that anymore because of the risk of a detention.”

Senior Shruti Pai found the new parking very advantageous. “It’s less stressful coming into a parking lot that’s not super packed and searching for a single spot that’s empty,” she said.

As a new rule, students cannot park on the street when there are any unnumbered spaces available in the parking lot. If they break this rule, they will get a detention.

Pai added, “I don’t really agree with [the detention policy] because sometimes people park in their parking spots and leave early. It depends on when they check if there’s an empty spot and if there’s a car on the street… Giving students detention for parking on the street when there’s an empty lot space is kind of unreasonable.”

Though many students found the parking helpful, one of the main problems students had was with how the new policy was announced, which was only a few days before school started. “I got to school early, so I was still able to park in the lot like usual. I actually didn’t know about [the new parking spaces] until later when someone told me they removed some of the numbers,” senior Prarthana Bhattacharya said.

Mathew, however, came late and had some parking issues. “I thought I would just park on Jenvey, and when I did I was told to go to the parking lot and then I had to go and repark in the parking lot. Because I misunderstood what they were telling me, I accidentally parked in one of the numbered spots. Then, I had to repark in another spot. It was very stressful,” Mathew said.

Miller said in an email interview, “For the first week, we had to work out a few bugs (true of any change), but seems pretty stable now.” While there were some miscommunications, the new parking seems to be  a success. Overall, the parking has prevented complaints from neighbors and has made more parking spaces available to students.