The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

Faceoff: First come, first served will optimize parking

This+parking+spot+in+the+main+student+parking+of+WCHS+lot+sits+empty+in+the+middle+of+the+school+day.+Due+to+half-day+schedules%2C+absenteeism+and+the+skipping+of+class%2C+empty+parking+spots+are+too+common+of+an+occurence.+That+is+one+of+the+factors+that+makes+seniors+who+have+street+parking+wish+that+parking+was+on+a+first+come%2C+first+served+basis.
Photo by Amir-Abbas Yazdi
This parking spot in the main student parking of WCHS lot sits empty in the middle of the school day. Due to half-day schedules, absenteeism and the skipping of class, empty parking spots are too common of an occurence. That is one of the factors that makes seniors who have street parking wish that parking was on a first come, first served basis.

Parking spots – those infatuating asphalt rectangles – hold a peculiar power in the WCHS ecosystem. They symbolize freedom, responsibility and, most importantly, seniority. But, this privilege is not offered to all seniors – only to the fortunate fraction of the 12th grade who were assigned lot spots in the parking raffle. Should the luck of the draw lead to this system?

Rumors have surfaced suggesting a seismic shift in the allocation of parking spaces at WCHS: seniors who drive to school may soon find themselves competing for spots on a first come, first served basis. Although this seems like a scary solution to the parking problem for seniors, it is the most viable option for the administration, as it will optimize not only student choice but also driving safety, efficiency and punctuality for the entire WCHS community.

This first come, first served system would work on a system of color-coded parking spots which would be supervised by appointed security guards at all three student parking lots. In other words, seniors who qualify for parking permits would earn the right to park in spots with a certain painted color based on the time they arrive at school.

For example, those who arrive between 7:00 a.m. and 7:15 a.m. would have access to the few lots that are painted red and closest to the school’s entrances. Students who arrive between 7:15 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. would be offered the orange parking spots – which are slightly further from the entrances – along with any empty red spots. Students who arrive between 7:30 a.m. and 7:45 a.m. would be offered the white parking lots – which are farthest from the school entrances – along with any orange or red spots that happen to be empty.

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If students arrive past 7:45 a.m. and are looking for a place to park, they will be offered any remaining lot spots; if none are left, they will be forced to park in the designated street parking areas. All students will know if there are any remaining parking spots because, at the entrance of each student parking area on the school grounds, the appointed security guard will be guiding them: if spots are still open, they will display a sign holder that contains the map of the parking spots on a marker board. If not, they will cover the marker board with a sign that says “NO PARKING.”

This system may seem complicated, but it is not impossible to achieve. If the school decides to carry out this plan, many of the issues with student parking will be solved.

For starters, students would no longer have to park somewhere that they did not choose to. Without the random factor of the raffle, students can park wherever they prefer. Students can park on any of the designated streets, in any of the three parking lots and any of the parking spots therein — if they arrive early enough.

That means that student tardiness would no longer be enabled. In fact, students would be highly discouraged from arriving to school late, which would have a huge ripple effect on other areas of the school: students would be on time to first period more frequently, which would increase productivity and success for both students and teachers.

On top of that, traffic will be more equally distributed throughout the morning hour as school starts. According to the WCHS Student Parking Guide, neighboring roads and parking lots are normally “quiet before 7:30 a.m.,” as traffic becomes highly congested in the 15 minutes before the start of school. However, first come, first served parking for student drivers would shift the concentration of cars earlier in the morning and, hence, reduce traffic for all cars who pass through the area between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m.

Proponents of assigned parking spots would still argue that an assigned system is more calculated and would make parking much simpler for students and the security guards that help, which is somewhat true. Nevertheless, randomly assigned parking would only enable students to abuse their driving privileges and treat high school like an unserious game, whereas a first come, first served system would foster a community of students who respect the limited time and privileges they are given.

First come, first served parking is truly the superior proposal to all the parking problems at WCHS. Not only would it offer all students the equal opportunity to choose where they park, but it would also lessen safety concerns, bad traffic conditions, tardiness and overall student disrespect for school procedures. Therefore, WCHS students and parents should take it upon themselves to reach out to WCHS administrators and rally for first come, first served parking.

 

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About the Contributor
Amir-Abbas Yazdi, Opinions Editor
Amir-Abbas Yazdi is a senior and is the Opinions Editor for The Observer. This is his fourth year taking journalism. In his free time, he loves watching Disney classics with his family and playing soccer with his friends.

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