Limited Parking Space Creates Challenges and Frustration For Student Drivers

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Limited Parking Space Creates Challenges and Frustration For Student Drivers

Only 42 spots are now available to La Salle student drivers who park in the Christ the King parking lot.

Only 42 spots are now available to La Salle student drivers who park in the Christ the King parking lot.

Reilly Smith

Only 42 spots are now available to La Salle student drivers who park in the Christ the King parking lot.

Reilly Smith

Reilly Smith

Only 42 spots are now available to La Salle student drivers who park in the Christ the King parking lot.

Maddie Khaw, Assistant Editor

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In past years, since the main parking lot at La Salle doesn’t have enough spots for all the student drivers, students without parking passes were free to park in the Christ the King parking lot, sacrificing only a brief walk between campuses before and after classes.

However, this year, students will need a special Christ the King parking pass in order to use the lot during the day. Only 42 of the spots in the CTK lot are available to the more than 60 students with overflow passes, so parking at Christ the King will be on a first come, first served basis. Once the allotted spots are filled, drivers will need to park on the street.

This year there is an especially significant difference between the amount of student drivers and the amount of parking spots available. La Salle’s current junior and senior classes are two of the biggest in a long time, with a junior class of 188 and a senior class of 182.

Mr. Mario De Ieso, the Vice Principal of Academics, said that each year the administration aims for class sizes of around 175 students.

Because of the minimal parking space and large class sizes, sophomores are no longer permitted to park at Christ the King, leaving them to navigate parallel parking on nearby streets until spots are opened up to them at the start of their junior year.

In an after-school meeting in the cafeteria last Friday, Sept. 13, Mr. Brian Devine, the school’s Vice Principal of Student Life, explained the new Christ the King parking guidelines and handed out bright green CTK parking passes to a crowd of more than 50 juniors and seniors who were wait-listed for parking passes in the main lot.

Maddie Khaw
La Salle students who park at Christ the King are now required to use a special CTK parking pass.

Some students are frustrated with the changes to parking regulations, and expressed their concerns with the limited parking space available.

“I come in from Fuller [Road], and I’m passing La Salle on my left and I have to park on the left side of the street,” sophomore Brody Crowley said. “So I [have to] pull into the street, turn around, and then I have to parallel park. I’m a new driver, and it’s kind of stressful and scary sometimes.”

In order to obtain a parking space in the morning, student drivers with CTK parking permits will most likely need to arrive at school early since there are fewer parking spots available than there are student drivers.

“I would recommend not coming to school at 7:55 and thinking there’s going to be a spot at Christ the King,” Mr. Devine said. “There probably will not [be].”

Mr. Devine said that he hopes the limited parking space will motivate students to arrive to school earlier, reducing tardiness.

Meanwhile, some students are upset about the need to race to school in order to obtain a spot in the CTK lot.

“It’s frustrating that I have to plan my morning around where I’m going to park,” junior Olivia Pisaneschi said. “I shouldn’t have to wake up 15 minutes earlier in order to have somewhere to park at my own school.”

Some students are frustrated because they don’t understand why they need special parking passes for Christ the King, or why they are being limited to only 42 available spots when there is much more space within the lot.

Last year, the Christ the King principal reached out to Mr. Devine to let him know that while they are happy to have La Salle students park in their lot, they want a more established system for allowing students to park there. A formal agreement was then created between Christ the King and La Salle to ensure shared use of the parking lot.

“It’s their campus and their property,” Mr. Devine said. “Just in the same way that we would want to make sure our campus is safe, and be able to identify who’s on campus, they wanted to be able to assure who is on their campus.”

Mr. Matthew Weichold, the campus security guard at La Salle, routinely monitors the La Salle parking lot. With the addition of the Christ the King parking passes, Mr. Weichold will be also monitoring the CTK parking lot to make sure that cars in the designated La Salle parking spots all have bright green parking passes clearly displayed.

Reilly Smith
In previous years, La Salle students were able to park anywhere in the Christ the King parking lot.

While several students are merely annoyed by the lack of parking space, some others are deeply upset and believe there should be consideration of other possible solutions.

“I hate it,” junior Egan Arntson said. “I genuinely hate the system.”

Arntson suggested using the space adjacent to the football field and track for more parking space by putting down gravel in place of the grass field that currently occupies the area.

Mr. Devine said the administration has talked about considering the gravel idea, but that “all of those types of options, like building a new parking lot or even just graveling over land that we have, those come with pretty significant, unseen impacts.”

“I’m not saying we shouldn’t do that, because I agree [that] we have grown as a school,” Mr. Devine said. “I think it’s evident that we need more space to park… but it wouldn’t be something that could happen here over the summertime, it would probably be almost a two or three year plan. So as of right now, that’s not part of the conversation.”