There are fewer student parking spots at the high school in this year compared to past years due to the Fernway Elementary School fire and the relocation of teachers to both Onaway elementary school and Woodbury elementary schools. Because of this, the administration has designated parking spots on the oval for students that were previously faculty parking only.
In order to give students more parking options, the city has offered 34 parking spots at the City Hall parking lot on Lee Road. Efforts to learn how this accommodation was created were unsuccessful. Phone calls and emails to Director of Communications Scott Stephens were not returned, nor were calls to the city.
Parking lot renovation over the summer that continued through the beginning of school also increased the need for additional spaces.
However, few interviewed students seemed to know that the spots are even available.
Some students think it’s easier to walk than drive. “I think it’s more of an effort to walk than just to get here earlier,” junior Reese Pulver said. Pulver’s view was common among upperclassmen who spoke about the pros and cons of parking at City Hall, 0.7 miles away from the high school.
According to Google Maps, an average person can walk from city hall to the high school in 15 minutes. A Shakerite reporter who walked past city hall after school saw only a single parking spot in use.
Parking complaints are an annual issue at the high school. In past years, students who could find parking on the oval complained when less experienced drivers parked cautiously.
In a November 2013 Shakerite opinion piece, junior Avery Oberfeld said, “It’s so frustrating driving around the school and seeing so many spots that are just too small for my car. If everyone pulled up so he or she was closer to the car in front of them, people who don’t get to school right at 7:30 to get a perfect spot would be able to park so much closer.”
Hillary Lacks, the opinion editor, said her car was hit even though there was space between the cars and that the person suffered no consequence for their actions.
Students often ask why more parking spots cannot be created around the high school. Senior Claire Ockner believes some people would be upset with the creation of new parking spots.
Junior Stella Hubbard thinks that not many people use City Hall to park, and that other, closer lots could be made into better parking spots. “I was thinking there should be diagonal parking around the oval to create more space,” she said.
“And also, tear up the freaking softball fields and use the space for parking,” said Hubbard. Students at her lunch table agreed.
Students are also concerned about how Shaker would clear space for more parking. “I just feel like some of the people living around there wouldn’t really like if we got rid of, like, trees and stuff to make more parking spaces,” Ockner said.
Some students who struggle to find parking have solved their problem by parking in faculty spots. The high school has 50 parking spots available in the south gym lot, and in those, 33, or 66 percent, of cars displayed a sticker on Wednesday, Oct. 3, at 11:50 a.m. Visitors also park in faculty lots.
This same problem was found in the North Gym lot. Of 62 cars parked in the North Gym lot Oct. 4 at 11:30 a.m., 44 of 68 cars had stickers verifying them. Part of the oval is blocked off strictly for faculty parking. But, it’s an incredibly small section of the oval, blocked off with signs stating where and when those permitted (faculty of Shaker) are able to park there. Despite the signs clearly stating the area is only for Shaker faculty, somehow students manage to wheedle their way into the spaces and strip teachers and staff of them.