EDITORIAL: With no solution in sight, parking complaints are futile

Jake Sands

At Country Day, driving to school is an upgrade that comes at a cost – students gain independence and freedom, but sacrifice the convenience of being dropped off right in front of the high-school quad.

You all know what we’re talking about – being a student driver at our school means making the inevitable walk from American River Drive to Munroe Street to Latham Drive and back again. Every day.

Admittedly, “the walk” probably isn’t the highlight of anyone’s day, especially when it’s raining.

Consequently, alternative parking options are a semi-hot topic among the upperclassmen.

Why can’t we buy that lot on Munroe?

Why can’t we turn that empty lot behind the baseball field into a designated parking area?

Why do we have to walk so far?

Well, The Octagon has done its research, and we’ve compiled the answers to those questions and more in this issue’s Centerpoint. If you have yet to read the Centerpoint, it can be summarized in two words and a contraction: we’re boxed in.

Quite literally, too. Again, read the Centerpoint for details, but the school is entirely out of options when it comes to parking. We’ve considered building up, down and in several locations surrounding the campus, but nothing is available for even a somewhat reasonable price. That’s just the way it is, and it’s not likely that the situation is going to change any time soon.

So we could whine about our parking predicament, or we could realize that all things considered, we don’t actually have it that bad.

At many high schools, especially those in urban areas, student parking is out of the question.

The Urban School of San Francisco has extremely limited parking, and students are highly discouraged from driving to school. Not only is there no room for students to park, but also there is no allocated space for teacher parking, either. Teachers who drive park on the streets and move their cars every few hours when the meters run out.

At Gunn High School in Palo Alto, a student parking permit costs $125 per year. If caught parking illegally, students are issued $46 tickets. Palo Alto High School has a similar system, but only seniors are allowed permits.

In comparison to these and other schools, our parking situation really isn’t something to complain about. Everyone who wants to drive may park within eight minutes walking distance of the school with no permit fee, and with no serious penalty for parking in an off-limits zone.

And look on the bright side – we live in an area that has some of the best, most consistent weather in the country. It’s not like our walk is hindered by three feet of frigid snow, or even heavy rain and wind.

So let’s all just accept the long, long walk that’s bestowed upon us and enjoy the morning air. Who knows? Maybe it’ll prepare us for college’s cross-campus treks.

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