Parking in Crisis

The Story Behind the Spot


Photo: Matthew Sage

University Prep student parks over the lines.

With the back lot filled with many lousy parking jobs and more student drivers than ever, University Prep’s parking situation is falling into mayhem.
Junior Josh Yi gets to school 20 minutes early to get a parking spot. Even then, he still has trouble finding a spot that fits his Mazda CX-30, a subcompact SUV, comfortably.
“Arriving at school at 8:17, I was surprised to be turned away, as the lot was completely full. By the time I had waited through the drop-off line and found a spot in the community, I was already late to class,” Yi said.
Parking has always been an issue at UPrep, and COVID-19 is not helping.
“We definitely have a fear of running out of parking,” Director of Upper School Joel Sohn said. “Once we can eliminate the back parking lot as the lunch lot, it will reduce the number of teachers parking on the street and will free up the bus lot next to the church.”
In the past, UPrep has attempted parking experiments such as assigning seniors spots.
“We used to deal with assigning spots, but it was tremendously difficult to maintain that. Seniors had priority and were closest to the gym, with all the others off to the side,” Pawlina said. “But, this created a divide and does not exactly represent UPrep’s value of inclusivity.”
Still, Senior Ethan Bensussen believes a possible solution to combat the space issue and achieve better parking jobs is a first-come, first-served senior-only parking lot. Bensussen went as far as creating a petition.
“As UPrep seniors, we have waited six years to park in the school parking lot, only for all of the spots to be stolen by the junior class. Not only have I not seen a single junior capable of parking correctly, but in our last year, for all the spots to be taken by Juniors is crazy,” Bensussen said.
Senior Katrina Menshutkina says even with senior-only parking, students would need to think about where they should park within the lot.
“As a truck driver, it is infuriating when I see small cars park in the big spaces,” Menshutkina wrote in her Schoology post. “The second row spots are much slimmer and larger cars can have difficulty pulling in and parking within the lines.”
Bensussen isn’t the only one with a solution. Pawlina not only has an idea that would free up parking, but some tips to help everyone’s parking experience.
“We have achieved the capacity of our parking lots, and still more and more kids are driving; the only way we can improve parking is by commuting together,” Pawlina said. “But, for now just taking 30 seconds to re-park will save the headache for the driver that will park next to you,” Pawlina said.