Parking Problems

Gabi Capestany, Staff Writer

batman-400x533 Junior Ayden Young is all too familiar with the headaches caused in the school parking lot. “Someone hit my car, I witnessed it, my brother saw it, they put a dent in my car. They denied everything then we started the insurance process. Now they’re graduated and I’m left with a dent in my car and I can’t do anything about it.” The parking lot has affected these students in their attendance records and financial records. That’s enough to frustrate anyone.

Any student that drives to school has their own parking lot nightmare story. With such a large student body of 1757 students, Olympia High School’s parking lot is overflowing with students in a rush to or from school, which causes headaches for the student body. From parents blocking the lot to way too many students jam-packed in once place, students have many opinions on what is the main cause of the parking lot headaches that plague them every day.

Junior Allora Maxey says, “Yes, [I am frustrated with the parking lot], many people are rude and you sometimes can’t get out of your parking spot.” Young says, “[I’m frustrated] only when someone blocks you from getting out of your spot, or parents stop in the middle of the lot to pick-up/drop-off for like two minutes. Or when someone tries to park their car like Batman and backs into a spot. Not cool.” Both students agree that parking is no doubt an issue in this school and something that needs addressing.

There are several opinions on what causes all the problems in the parking lot. Maxey claims, “the parents are the problem. They line up in front of the commons and block students from getting out. They are very rude and aren’t supposed to be there.” This is a very probable cause, considering that the new freshman class is unusually large, containing 445 students. Since none of the freshmen are old enough to drive, they either have to take the bus or get dropped off by their parents. With an abnormal amount of freshman getting dropped off by their parents, this very well could be part of the parking lot problem. However, Young claims, “[The problem] may be not enough spots, but [really its] people not realizing that someone may be trying to back up and then blocking them from doing anything until they move. It’s pretty annoying.”

While Maxey thinks that the parents are a problem, she also thinks, “the main problem is the amount of parking spots. If you are a little late getting to school one day, you spend about ten minutes in the car line just to get to the parking lot to find out that there are no more spots. Then you have to go park on the other side of the school. Then you have a five-minute walk to the school and by that time you are already late.” The frustrating situation Maxey described was one that happened to her recently, stating, “[it made me] late to school when I could have been on time.”

Most students follow a kind of “parking lot etiquette” or “guideline” system in the school lots. Maxey says, “Yes, [there is etiquette]. If you can’t park, don’t drive. And let someone in the car line get in front of you at least once when exiting. It’s common courtesy.” Young claims that the parking lot etiquette has more to do with seniority, stating, “I was told my by cousins (who were seniors at the time) when I started driving that seniors park in the front few rows, followed by juniors in the next rows, then the sophomores. Some follow it, some don’t, I’ll see sophomores drive and park in the front row like it’s no big deal. I’ve been following that ‘rule’ thing since I’ve been driving to school, and some others do, some don’t. I think there is some kind of etiquette/seniority that should be followed.”

However, these students do think measures can be taken to make the school parking lot a hassle-free environment. Maxey says, “[The school should] make it more accessible. Create more entrances because the car line is sometimes backed up all the way to Eskridge and it can take up to fifteen minutes to get to school from there.” Young claims that more room is the solution, saying, “You can’t really easily change or add more lanes or make the lanes wider, but not allowing people to back in to spots or making a pick-up/drop-off limit would help.” While the parking lot may currently be a major headache for students, they still have hope that one day it may become easier to get in and out of school. But for now, students will just have to be aware of the several problems in the parking lot.