It’s 7:55 a.m. and after driving around for the past 11 minutes, there is still nowhere to park. Spot after spot is either taken or marked as a resident or “permit A” space. I contemplate whether or not it is worth parking in the two-hour slot and risk a ticket to avoid a tardy. Finally, an empty spot… and it is about a seven minute walk away from school. I run up the hill only to stumble into class a minute after the bell rings and, low and behold, my teacher marks me late.
There is just not enough parking for students. No matter how early everyone arrives, there is a limited number of spaces to compete over. It is not just students at odds with each other for parking spots. There are other Piedmont residents, city employees, and visitors who need parking, too.
Excusing everyone’s tardiness is not the answer, for obvious reasons. It is also important to maintain designated permit spots for staff and other city workers. Still, students should also have the opportunity to get to school on time as they are expected to.
H1 renovations will include solar-paneled roofing and new multi-storied STEAM building for the high school. I think it is reasonable for them to, at least, consider setting aside space for a parking lot for students and staff. Not having to stress about parking each and every morning will make for happier students and an overall better experience going to school each weekday. If that is not a possibility, then the school should consider issuing permits to students who do not live within walking distance of the school.
The lack of parking around the school has become more than just an inconvenience. Parking is a city-wide issue that may not have an easy fix, but it should still be seriously re-evaluated. Otherwise, parking will continue to be a problem especially with the projected growth in student population. The city and the school is expending the time and effort to renovate for H-1 anyways. Might as well add a few more parking spots while they are at it.