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Aparkalypse

Currently, the administration have no plans to fix the parking issue at Washington-Lee.

Currently, the administration have no plans to fix the parking issue at Washington-Lee.

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Every year, more and more young drivers take to the streets with fresh licenses, and the school parking lot becomes increasingly tighter. With the school’s limited space to renovate parking spots, parking has become a luxury to students. While certain lots, such as the senior lot, require special passes, the commuter lot is a free-for-all. To some, parking has become a daily battle. “I call it the aparkalypse,” junior Kathryn Williams said. “For me, it has literally become a war to get a parking spot.”

During the winter, mountains of snow block many parking spots for drivers. With parking already so limited, many students were frustrated at the limitedness of spots. “When it snowed and covered the junior parking lot, some spots weren’t cleared for a month,” junior Lauren Montgomery said. “It made parking really difficult for a lot of people and sometimes I didn’t even want to drive.”

Even though there is concern from the student body, behind the scenes, the staff works to ensure student parking spots are available. During a snowstorm when students have the day off, custodians enter the school grounds at 6 a.m. and work fervently to salt the sidewalks and remove snow from the parking lots. “When schools are closed and all activities in the evening are canceled due to a significant snowfall, the entire custodial staff, morning and evening, come in and proceed to clean sidewalks, main entrances around the building and salt areas to prepare them for pedestrian use,” Assistant Principal Ms. Perdomo said.

Students who do not want to risk a ticket are often competing for spots in the morning. “My worst experiences in the junior lot happen when I’m forced to be someone I don’t like being,” Williams said. “One time, I came only a few minutes later and had to ‘steal’ a spot from one of my friends. It was the last spot in the junior lot that morning, and she was forced to park in an illegal space. I felt so bad.”

Many students understand why parking has become such a tricky topic for the administration to work through. The administration encourages drivers to find other alternatives to school due to this issue. “Our parking situation will continue to be limited and students will be encouraged to ride their bikes, take the school bus, rideshare or walk to school.” Ms. Perdomo said.

Available parking has also grown limited for teachers and administration. With more students entering the school, more teachers are needed to compensate the growing student body. However, there are currently no future plans to fix parking for either staff or students. “We agree that parking is difficult for students and staff,” Ms. Perdomo said. “As there has been a considerable increase in the student population, and the number of staff members, we have not been adding any parking spaces.”

Future SCA co-presidents, juniors Lucy Banks and Alice Naland, have already declared their mission of fixing the issue of parking next year. They propose making the courts in-between the junior and senior lot into parking spots. Though this may take a lot of effort and work, both Banks and Naland see the long-term benefits. “Parking is only going to grow as an issue if we don’t do something about it now,” Naland said. “One of the first things we agreed on fixing next year is the parking lot issue. We’ve both had negative experiences there, but with a little creative thinking, the issue can be solved.”

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The student newspaper of Washington-Lee High School
Aparkalypse