By Jeff Mendoza
The parking situation at WHS is littered with problems that need to be resolved as soon as possible. With the cost and availability of parking passes, to the absurd distances students have to park away from campus, WHS needs to consider a reconstruction of the parking scenario to accommodate students.
For many, the ability to drive, and the privilege of owning a car, is a liberation and one of the first steps into the adult world. The responsibility and ownership is a serious step forward in the maturation of a person, but it also comes with a series of problems.
However, with the many pros of driving come many serious setbacks, one of them being the parking situation at WHS.
For many sophomores who receive their license, they do not get the option of applying for a parking pass. This means they must either park along T.O. Blvd. or Lakeview Canyon Rd. (AKA me as a sophomore).
As many of my friends began driving, all of us started realizing that in order to avoid the half mile trek up Lakeview, we would have to arrive by 6:30-6:45 to combat the upperclassmen who start at 7:00 all to sit in our cars and wait for our classes to begin at 8:00.
Coming into our junior year, my fellow classmates and I were livid. With our classes starting at 7:00 now, we could finally arrive at 6:30 and not waste valuable sleep time.
But then we faced an entirely new challenge: dealing with the sub-arctic temperatures that seemed to envelope the area surrounding WHS. While the distance was not quite as bad, the 10 minute walk from our cars to our classes was a consistent 40-50 degree cold-spell that seemed to drop even more as we crossed the bridge.
But what about the parking pass? Now that we are juniors, we are eligible to enter a random lottery. However, this does not guarantee a pass. The reward if you are chosen? A much more manageable 5-minute walk to your class, and a $100 fee.
For an array of my classmates, parking passes were not financially feasible when parking on T.O. or Lakeview was still an option, which although has its problems, does not come with any fees.
Additionally, the student lot is renowned for its’ continual accidents. This results in higher insurance rates for students whose monthly rates are already through the roof, and the loss of vehicle use while it is being repaired. And that is just if it is reported, as hit and runs are common, and students might end up having to foot the bill for someone else’s mistakes.
For me, upon receiving my parking pass, the purchase of a dash camera was essential. My sister had previously parked in the lot for a year and was the victim of three accidents, of which only one was reported and taken responsibility for. The cost of the dash camera? $400.
Overall, parking at WHS is a serious problem. Action needs to be taken on behalf of the students and the school. As bad as it might seem for a student, reporting their accidents is law, and is part of the responsibility of driving. For the school, expanded parking as well as financial aid for the passes would greatly help students, and make coming to school a little less difficult than it needs to be.