Parking Passes = Permanent Fix

 Many LHS alumni have voiced their jealousy in recent weeks upon hearing that current students were given access to park in the Carpenter Avenue commuter lot. Students now only need a parking pass given to them by the school, and then they are free to keep their car in any un-numbered spots during the school day. The new benefit is due to the construction currently underway on the exterior of the school building, along Union Avenue where many students typically park. While these parking passes should have remained a permanent fix, school administrators revoked the parking passes on June 1, as spots on Union Avenue reopened. This decision will hurt LHS students, as this issue has for many years already.

     Unlike many other high schools, LHS does not have a student parking lot, and this has always been a struggle for students. With no access to parking, many students are forced to either pay for a closer metered spot or park blocks away from the school, and make the dreaded walk all the way up Spencer. 

     Due to all of this hassle, which nearly every student has experienced, many teachers anticipate student drivers being late to their first period class. Junior Emily Paladino said, “I remember my brother used to wake up extremely early to get ready before school. He would park on Spencer and walk back to the high school…it definitely was not an easy process every morning before school.” 

     This is the first time students have been given the ability to park anywhere besides a metered spot or one a walk away, so, needless to say, this is a milestone for the high school. Now, with the new availability of parking spots, many students are taking advantage of the opportunity. Junior Kate Dooling said, “It’s so much easier knowing I have a spot during the day. It definitely makes driving to school much more pleasant.” 

Assistant Principal Matthew Sarosy said, “Not having an option for students to park would have been a safety issue. I’m appreciative of the Village’s willingness to work with us and provide the temporary passes for the students.” Sarosy said, however, that he does not believe the passes should be allowed next year since “more people will be commuting to work, and the lot will be filled with residents who use the train.”

     These parking spots cannot be a temporary fix; they need to be a permanent solution. For the remainder of the year, students must be allowed to continue parking in the commuter lot, which will help the school and town minimize the effects of the prior parking situation. When students were only allowed to park at the meters, they were taking away parking from other members of the community who shop and dine at local businesses around the school. Due to this, local small businesses struggle with their customers not being able to find parking. 

     Not only did this affect small businesses, but it also inhibited the school day itself. When students need to park at meters, they have to run out during the school day to pay the meter or move their cars. This used to disrupt classes, possibly making students late or excusing themselves from class. 

     The residents living around LHS were also affected by the lack of student parking at the school. With students parking on residential streets, the front of many homes were crowded with the cars of recently licensed drivers. This led to a traffic flow nightmare on the streets surrounding the high school, like Spencer Avenue.

     Now, with students getting a taste of their own parking lot, it will be very hard to go back to the prior parking situation in the fall. Many students agree that the commuter lot should remain open to student parking next year. Junior Amelia Pollicino said, “I love parking in the lot. With many people still working remotely, I believe the lot should remain open for students. It makes everything so much easier, for both the school and the students.” This parking lot has definitely laid a conversation about student parking on the table, a conversation that LHS cannot overlook any longer.