New system for parking needed, spots assigned at beginning of year

Abby Hyken

Parking at our school has always been disorganized, and the threats of fines and towing cars from the administration have not made it any better. Arriving at school in the morning is like entering a free-for-all — everyone is scrambling to find parking spots that won’t result in them getting a ticket or being towed. However, due to the lack of parking spots, oftentimes students end up parking in no-parking zones or in handicap spaces, risking a ticket. 

This issue can be easily resolved by implementing an assigned parking spot system. Druid Hills High School uses this system and parking goes much more smoothly. At the beginning of the year, students can sign up for a parking spot and are assigned spots through a lottery. Preference is given to seniors, dual enrollment students and students who have minimum school days. Midtown should adopt a similar system in order to decrease the chaos of the current parking system. 

If a student does not receive a spot from the lottery, there are plenty of other ways to get to school. Students can carpool, have a parent drop them off or ride Atlanta Public Schools provided transportation to get to school. This allows parking to be much more efficient, as students will know exactly where to park and will not struggle to find a spot in the morning. 

However, the lottery system does have some flaws. There is not enough parking for everyone on the Midtown campus, so if a student does not receive a spot, they will have to find another form of transportation or park off-campus. Given that Midtown only has two small parking lots, a lot of students would need to find another ride to school or would have to park off campus and walk to school from their car. 

At Druid Hills, there is only one parking lot and a few extra scattered spaces around the campus, so students who do not receive a spot often end up parking in surrounding neighborhoods, causing congestion. Even without the assigned parking system, Midtown still has the same issue. Students park on surrounding streets and clog them during school start and release hours. Considering that Midtown has slightly more parking than Druid Hills, assigned parking would decrease congestion on side streets and the scramble to find a parking spot because students would know exactly where to park. 

In the case of students parking in the wrong spot or taking another student’s spot, administration could call for the student to move their car, or in extreme scenarios, cars could be towed. This would let students know that the system is official and is being taken seriously, as opposed to lightly shrugging off threats of fines that are being threatened by administration now. 

Adopting this assigned parking system would make parking at Midtown much easier and efficient. Students will not have to battle for parking spots in the morning and arriving at school will be much more relaxed, in addition to decreasing congestion on surrounding streets.