Parking issues on campus persist


Devon Lee, Tech Editor

For the past two years, there has been a shortage of parking spaces. Currently, 40 spots are reserved for the construction workers, and with increasing class sizes, there are more student drivers vying for a parking spot than there are spots available.
Finding parking in the morning is difficult, even for administrators. “Everybody is stressing about the parking piece, and it’s hard,” Principal Kathleen Laurence said. “I come, and the spot that’s for me is taken, and I drive and end up way down at the Village.” According to Laurence, a big contributing factor to this issue is the construction. “There are always concerns in that there’re more people who want to drive than we have spots,” she said. “However, when the new building opens up, then we [will] have more spots available.”

Director of Student Activities Lisa Hall is aware of students parking illegally. “It does concern me that there are students who choose to drive to school and park on campus, even though they do not have a permit,” she said. “It is contributing to the problem of parking congestion and [is] unfair to students who have purchased permits.”

The Palo Alto Police Department (PAPD) has been employed to combat illegal parking. “PAPD patrols the lot and issues tickets to cars that are parked in non-parking spaces or are parked without a permit,” Hall said.

According to Laurence, the increase in student enrollment has added to the problem. “The other piece to remember is that we have the bubble of enrollment coming through, so we have more kids for the next few years,” she said. “Therefore, we have more kids who want to drive.”

Due to the parking shortage, some students have been forced to park on streets near Gunn, most commonly Georgia Ave. Junior Michael Tao is one of the students that accommodates for his parking situation in this way. “I never parked in the parking lot because I started driving after semester one, and I live too close, so I could never get a parking pass,” he said. “I do have to leave earlier because the walk takes a good amount of time compared to biking. So I have to leave five to 10 minutes earlier than when I bike, but it’s worth it because it’s cold.”

For students who live on Georgia, the increase in drivers has not been too difficult to live with. “I don’t really see it as much of a problem right now because I figure [if] they don’t have a spot to park in the actual parking lot, then they have to find somewhere else to park,” junior Ryan Wang said. “It’s more of an inconvenience than a large problem.” According to Secretary to the Principal Martha Elderon, she has not received any complaints from neighbors.

Hall believes that one possible solution to the parking predicament is to find alternate modes of transportation to school. “The school could start with better messaging to the community about finding other ways to travel to school, encourage carpooling and to remind parents not to idle in parking spaces while waiting to pick up or drop off students at school,” she said.