Parking in Peril

A New Perspective on Student Parking at AHS

Sophia Wiencek

It’s 8:17 in the morning. I pull into the staff lot and see almost half of the spots sitting there untaken. The two front rows of the Lincoln lot are filled with cars and more continue to file in. It’s a cold morning, and the staff lot is a lot closer to my first class. It doesn’t seem like a problem to park in staff. Why would I park in Lincoln? It is so far away, unpaved and unmarked. The day goes by, and at the end of the day, there is no parking violation sticker on my car. Throughout the month though, 3 violations are placed on my car, along with a $50 fine. This fine was the push that finally got me to stop parking in the staff spot, but I still had some lasting frustrations about park- ing at Ashland High School.

Image of an AHS parking violation sticker

My biggest issue surrounding park- ing is that there are a limited number of spots reserved for students and an abundant number available for staff. Even when I’m 15 minutes early for school, it is hard to get a spot in the student lots, and coming back from lunch, the lot is filled to the max. With Southern Oregon University students and other residents parking their cars in student lots, there is not enough space for students. Because there are 90 spots for students, only 90 parking passes are sold. Once they sell out, no more can be purchased. This becomes an issue when students without passes park in the lots, congesting lots that are supposed to be reserved for students with passes.

In an interview with the Dean of Students, Glenna Stiles, I asked for a teacher perspective on parking. “They [teachers] have kids they need to take care of. Zooming in at 8:25 am, they really needs those spots. Kids come in at 8:24 am and are like ‘oh an open spot,’ taking teachers spots” said Stiles. “It is a balance between need and re- spect and whether students get caught or not, creating a point of contention.” Speaking with Stiles about these issues revealed the complexity of the parking problems.

Looking at the many open spaces in the staff parking lots, the tempta- tion to park in the staff lots is hard to fight. With the current parking rules in place, many students don’t see how this could actually affect the teachers whose spots are being taken. Although I have new sympathy for the teachers whose spots I would be taking, I still haven’t found a solution to my parking problem at AHS.