The age-old parking dilemma

Christian Berger, Staff Writer

Many of us are familiar with parking at Monte Vista. At the beginning of the semester, you run to the office along with hundreds of other permit-seekers, hoping to obtain the glorious placard that hangs from your rear-view mirror.

For those who don’t have a parking permit, it’s an entirely different ball of wax.  If you drive past the north lot, you will also see that almost a quarter of the parking spots are unoccupied. This must mean it’s okay to park here, right? Wrong. If you attempt this, you will find a nice bright parking ticket on your windshield.

Perhaps the most favorable alternative is parking on the street by the 200 building. But this requires waking up at unnecessarily early hours, as spots quickly fill up. Sophomore Abbi MacManus feels that the cons outweigh the pros when it comes to street parking.

“It’s inconvenient for me because not only do I have to wake up at 5:30 to get a spot, but my last class is very far away,” MacManus said. “If they aren’t letting people leave their cars at Oak Hill Park, and they aren’t offering more parking permits, where are we supposed to park while still waking up at a normal hour?”

According to assistant principal Gary Peterson, the reason why there are so many open spots is because of normal day-to-day student absences. He added that even though some students have permits, some still choose to park on Stone Valley Road if they get to school early enough. In fact, Monte Vista sold 50 more permits this year than spots. Still, this does not seem like a valid explanation for the amount of vacant spaces.

As a last resort, some students have been leaving their cars at Oak Hill Park next to Monte Vista. The Town of Danville has cracked down on this and is issuing tickets to these students.

Some students have no choice but to drive themselves for reasons that are beyond their control. Maybe their parents work, their siblings are unable to drive them, or they live far away and get caught in traffic. They get stuck in a vicious cycle in which they can’t find a parking spot and are therefore tardy—all while the solution is right in front of us: fill the empty spots.

My point is that we need to have more flexible options for students who are unable to obtain parking permits. There are plenty of empty spaces in the north lot that could bring in extra revenue for the school, which in turn could be used to fund new textbooks and technology. I’m sure there are countless students who would be more than willing to purchase a permit, myself included. If we promptly take action, we can reduce the high amount of illegal parking, and ticketing that happens as a result.