Driving to school and owning a car is a significant part of being a highschool student. It signifies the increase in responsibility and the impending freedom that the years bring. Recently, Leesville Road High School has announced that the student parking lot has reached its maximum capacity. In recent years, the student parking lot runs out of spots in late February or early March. This poses an issue to students who have yet to receive their license, rely on their working parents for transportation and would like to be able to drive to school.
The parking fee established by the Wake County Board of Education in the 2018-2019 school year was 200 dollars and decreases 15 dollars every month that the parking spot remains vacant. “I do think that [the prices] are a little high, but I needed that spot, so I’d pay anything at this point,” said Sophie Hernandez, a junior at Leesville Road High School.
“I was so excited to get a spot and drive myself to school, and be able to go off campus for lunch,” said Hernandez. “When they told me that they didn’t have any spots available, I was pretty mad because it is such a big inconvenience.” Hernandez now has to rely on her mother for rides to school as she can not always park at her friend’s house.
According to Wake County Public Schools’ high school parking regulations, “The only places available for student parking are the student lots. Students may not park on the road, drive-way, in intersections, or in any other place, including other school campuses,” via wcpss.net.
“On the days I do need a spot, I park in front of a friend’s house in the neighborhood across the street from the student parking lot,” said Hernandez. Hernandez also says that crossing a busy street in the morning is a dangerous thing to do due to tired drivers early in the morning.
As people from all over the country move into North Carolina, the population of Wake County will grow. In 2015 alone, the population of Wake County experienced a 2.5 percent growth rate which put the total number of people in Wake County at 1,023,859 at that number is only growing. Although there were only 48 new students in Wake County this year, there is a chance the growth projections will become true in the coming years. As the student body of Leesville Road High School grows so will the need for parking spots. “I think that [Leesville administration should find a solution] because I know there are more and more people coming each year, and it’s already a big pain right now… so I’d fix it before it gets worse,” said Hernandez.
A proposed solution would be to move the buses in the student parking lot to another location. This would allow for student parking spots to replace the much larger bus parking spots and create more space for the Leesville students that need them. Although the idea seems simple enough, it creates the issue of where the buses will park as Leesville hosts buses and bus drivers from nearby schools as well.
Before the buses were parked in the student parking lot, they were positioned in the bus lot but were removed because of the impending threat of vandalism. The busses could move to Sycamore Creek Elementary School as the elementary school starts and ends at a different time than Leesville Road High School,and is a well-lit area. Furthermore, elementary schools have fewer incidents of crime at 45 percent, compared 74 percent in high schools.
For the time being, Leesville administration should produce a wait-list for students who are in need of a parking spot in case a senior graduates or drops out or if a student moves away. This will allow for the students who need parking spots the most to get them if they are available.