January 25, 2020

OPINION: The school’s new parking solution falls short

The construction of the new school also amplified a persisting problem: parking. In an effort to alleviate the frustration of limited parking, the school is going to test a new plan to encourage car-pooling. While this is a step in the right direction, it is not a flawless plan to eliminate the effect of a major design flaw.

The school plans to allow groups of students to sign up to carpool together and guarantee a spot. This is in contrast to the previous system, where students entered the lottery individually, and could only have a parking spot for one semester.

This new system can restrict certain people from being able to secure a carpool spot. If someone doesn’t live near any friends or is left out from a group that signs up together, he or she has to enter the lottery by themselves while others automatically get a spot.

Students have only 100 spots designated for them, and sometimes even fewer if teachers have to park in that area. Even if each car has three people in it, that’s only 300 kids, which does not comprise the entire senior class. And then there’s the junior class to consider who typically aren’t old enough to drive with their friends. We’re not even considering parking for them.

Of course, there is Washington Street, but if there’s construction there (as there frequently is) or a student arrives late, it’s likely there won’t be a spot available, and the rest of the side roads surrounding the school are riddled with “No Parking” signs. Instead of passing this initiative, the high school administration should create a petition to use Wellesley Avenue for student parking once again. Parking there had previously been taken away due to excess snow build up in combination with complaints from citizens of the town.

Carpooling is an intelligent idea- it reduces gas emissions, traffic, and most of all the amount of parking. Students already carpool because they are forced to, as there are not enough spots.

This new plan does not solve the sheer lack of parking available, it simply alleviates it. For everyone to be able to drive to school that wants to, there simply needs to be more parking spots available.

Several expensive, yet practical, solutions to this problem include paving a new lot or building a parking garage above or below ground. Petitioning the town to allow students to park on Wellesley Avenue would both help solve the lack of spaces while at the same time creating no expense to the school or town.

(Vince Caruso ’16, Opinions Editor)

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