Confusion Around the Student Parking Lot

Different Problems and Misconceptions About the Student Parking Lot

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Sofia Kalberer

The student parking lot at Woodside High School after school’s release.

Sofia Kalberer, Staff Writer

Woodside students have been having problems with the student parking lot that include heavy traffic, limited spots, and students parking without permission.  

There are roughly 200 parking spots and 2,000 students at Woodside. Not everyone is driving, but there is still a disproportionate ratio of students to spots. Students at Woodside get parking permits to ensure them a spot in the campus lot.

“[Parking permits are] first come first serve, and we open it to juniors and seniors only,”  Wendy Porter, Administrative Vice Principal, said. “We are not able to extend on-campus parking to sophomores. We just physically don’t have the space.”

Even though parking permits are given out, there are still students who park in the student parking lot without permission. 

“I didn’t think it bothered me until I couldn’t find a parking spot because kids who don’t have permits, park, and take up the spots of kids that bought permits,” Delilah Gemello, a Woodside senior, said. 

The staff at Woodside try their best to keep this from happening, but it is challenging to keep all unwanted students from parking. 

“We do internal ticketing,” Porter said. “There are times when we just will randomly be out there and turn anyone away as they come in if they don’t have one.” 

Many new drivers are pulling in and driving out of the crowded parking lot at the same time, which can cause accidents or stress. 

“I’ve been parking [in the parking lot] for two weeks,” Kieran Cobb, a Woodside junior, said. “Going out [of the parking lot] is worse because everyone is going out at the same time.”

Accidents are not very common, but there have been some this year already. 

“I was parked, and someone hit me [as] they were trying to park,” an anonymous Woodside student said. “I saw who it was, but I didn’t recognize them. The damage is not bad enough to spend money to get it fixed.”

The school is normally on top of and involved in these sorts of incidents, as there was another similar circumstance recently. 

“This year I can think of one instance where somebody clipped a car pulling into a space,” Porter said. “When we were alerted, we found out who the students were and made sure we put them together, family-wise for insurance.”

Students with parking permits are not assigned spots and can choose any spot they want. 

“[Having assigned spots] makes it more complicated than it needs to be. There have been requests that seniors have the front row and this kind of status associated with it, and we weren’t really about that.” Porter said. “We don’t assign particular spots because then we get the ‘I’m bringing a different car this day.’ ‘Somebody parked in my spot, what do I do?’”

Some students strongly support the idea of assigned parking spaces, but not everyone shares the sentiment. 

I think [assigned parking spots are] a nice idea, but I think that there could be more issues that come with that,” Gemello said. 

Even though there are many difficulties involving the student parking lot it is still very important and useful for students that are driving.  

“ I think [the student parking lot] is necessary because you can only park to a certain point in that strip outside of the football field”, Cobb says. “Once that builds up you have to park really far away, and the neighborhoods don’t like it when you park there.”

Expanding the student parking lot is currently not a priority at Woodside, since it has been worked on previously. 

“If we had all the money in the world and all the academic and other needs were taken care of, we would maybe build another story in the parking lot,” Porter said.