HP Bagpipe

HP Bagpipe

HP Bagpipe

Parking Frustrates Students, Staff And Visitors

Garage, H-Lot parking is limited, hazardous
Senior Matteo Winandy pulls into a visitor parking space in the parking garage. When there is someone parked in your designated spot, seniors and juniors are expected to report the violation and park in visitors for the day.

Parking has always been an issue at Highland Park.

The problems stem from students taking other spots, students parking in residents’ spots and visitors are often unable to find parking. 

There are only two designated areas to park at school, the garage and H-Lot where only staff, seniors and juniors are given permission to park there. This presents a challenge for sophomores who can drive, so most of them end up having to park off campus or sometimes in resident parking spots, which is another issue. 

Juniors and seniors are given assigned numbers for their parking spots and are required to put a sticker signifying their spot number on their vehicle. It seems that parking is a simple procedure and that there shouldn’t be a lot of issues, but when students take others’ spots, the flaws start to appear. 

Associate Principal Michelle Shumate recently shared an email with all Highland Park students, restating the parking procedures and reminding the students what to do when someone else parks in their spot.

Even with constant reminders about students who don’t have a spot not parking in others’ spots, there’s still an issue and students continue to do it. 

Senior Skylar Hammel finds the parking to be tedious.

“I think [parking] is very unorganized and I think the parking garage should have more floors and [it] also [needs to] be redone,” she said.

Hammel became frustrated after she talked about her experience when someone else was in her spot and having to park somewhere else for school.

“It really annoys me and it has made me late to class [many times] and the teachers will still count you tardy,” she said.

When someone else does park in a student’s designated spot, students must take a photo of the vehicle’s license plate, report it to their attendance office and park in visitor’s parking or elsewhere. 

Shumate states that when students park in spots not assigned to them, it becomes a domino effect.

“When this happens, it causes the next person to either park in someone else’s spot or it causes them to park in a visitor/volunteer spot,” she said.

This is a problem for visitors when they’re trying to come to the school and they also can’t find a parking spot. 

“When our volunteers arrive, they don’t have a spot in which to park, so they have to park in someone’s spot,” she said. “It becomes a frustration for students when it makes them late to class and for visitors and volunteers who cannot find a place to park.”

One solution to this problem would be to expand the parking lot. This would be beneficial for students and would create more spaces. 

However, it would be difficult to do this because of the school’s location.

“Our school is ‘landlocked,’ Shumate said. “We don’t have room to expand around us because we are in a residential area. It works great for our students because they can walk to school, but it does pose challenges when we have more students wanting to drive than there are parking spots available.”

Another place where juniors and seniors are assigned to park is the garage, which has been deemed unsafe by senior Megan Miller.

“As I leave the garage and try to go home, I have to be extremely careful because of how fast kids go down there,” she said. “I understand they’re trying to leave as fast as possible, but it still makes me feel uneasy.”

Shumate defends the parking garage by claiming that if students follow the rules, then it wouldn’t be an issue.

“I think the parking garage is no different than any other parking area in regards to safety,” she said. “There are speed limit signs posted, as well as arrows to show exits. Everyone should follow the speed limit and be aware of people walking to and from their vehicles.”

At the end of the day, most of the parking issues at the school come down to the students. If they follow the rules and are safe when they drive, it should resolve most of the problems. 

“I know that the parking situation can be frustrating for those that follow the rules and still have someone in their spot,” Shumate said. “Because parking is only allowed for seniors and juniors, I would encourage those students [who don’t have permission to park on school property] to familiarize themselves with the parking expectations and to be sure they understand the full registration process.”

About the Contributor
Ellie Cooper
Ellie Cooper, Reporter
What are you looking forward to on the staff this year? I'm looking forward to creating great stories, promoting the Bagpipe to the school, and overall having a successful year What are your hobbies? Reading, spending time with friends, and yoga What causes are you passionate about? World hunger, poverty, homelessness, and climate change