By Kate Robak
Due to measure BB construction and the reduction of spots for students in the district parking lot, student and staff parking has been reduced, and students are, in some cases, forced to walk blocks to find parking. Instead of further reducing spots for students to park in, the district and administration need to create more parking options for student drivers.
The new restriction limiting spots in the district parking lot will make parking for school even more limited at Costa. Before construction, students used part of the district office lot for parking. However, after construction began, students had to use more of the district lot. Finally, on Feb. 1, Costa administration in coordination with district staff, stopped allowing students to park in the majority of the district lot.
With these changes, students were forced to park on the streets, which comes with many regulations. Often times, this caused students to be tardy to class after searching for parking for excessive amounts of time.
The rule restricting student parking in the district lot can be seen as beneficial to the district staff, but it does create a bigger problem for students. Because there are so many more students than district staff, students should be allowed to share more of the lot with the district. Also, since the decrease in parking spaces has mostly affected students, they should be seen as a priority and should be given preference for available parking.
According to the MBUSD website, the district office has 42 employees. There are 86 spots in the lot. Clearly, students do have the space to park beyond what they are currently allowed, and more spaces in the district lot should be open to students.
While it may be difficult to make student parking more available without physically creating new spots, opening up more spots in the district lot or temporarily changing public parking rules would help ease the issue. These steps will help for the rest of the current school year, but further measures need to be taken.
This parking problem will not be solved in the short term. Until new parking lots are built specifically for students, this issue will persist. But Costa’s administration should still work to incentivize carpooling to lessen the total number of cars to solve the problem for the future. Incentives could include giving carpoolers preferred parking in the school lot. Additionally, parking passes for carpoolers could be given at a lower cost or given out before single driver permits. Not only would this be environmentally friendly, but it would also cut down on traffic around the school and reduce the number of parking spots actually needed by students, effectively addressing the issue.
The new restrictions on student parking in the district lot, while allowing staff their necessary parking spaces, are more harmful than they’ve been made out to be. Costa needs to address this issue.