Parking Pass Problems


Empty spaces in the Bingham Parking lot. Photo Credit: Carling

You wake up late to find that your alarm didn’t go off. You rush out of bed and get ready as quickly as possible, but school starts in 20 minutes. You manage to get dressed, brush your teeth, fix your hair, and race to your car all in 10 minutes, then you rush to school in a record-breaking 5 minutes. There’s only one problem: you don’t have a parking pass, and if you park on the street you have to walk for at least 6 minutes. You decide to risk it and park in the parking lot and make it to class with less than a minute to spare. Everything seems fine until you return to your car after school only to find you were ticketed.

This could all be avoided if you had a parking pass. Do the seniors who only come to school on A days really need a pass? I don’t think so. Rodney Shaw, Bingham’s principal, says junior parking passes are “chosen [in] a lottery system.” That doesn’t seem fair.  Mr. Shaw also says, “Once the lottery is closed a random number is chosen and that’s where we start by offering lottery parking passes until they have all sold out.  The number of junior passes depends on how many seniors buy one.  For example if we had 700 passes for sale but only 400 seniors bought one, that would leave 300 for juniors.”

One solution is to only allow students who come to school every day to get a pass. I know a lot of seniors who only come to school on A days or B days and I don’t think they should have priority over students who come on both days. But what happens if you still don’t get a parking pass? If you get caught parking in the parking lot without a parking pass, you will be ticketed. If you are ticketed over and over, the school will put a “boot” on your car.

Students without a parking pass have to walk up and down 22nd, also known as “Sophomore Lane”. Photo Credit: Carling

The current system has many flaws in my opinion. For example, students that only come on certain days still get a pass, and Arthur Erickson, one of Bingham’s assistant principals, says, “144 Juniors” have parking passes. 144 passes seem like a lot until you know that over 600 seniors have a pass. I think we need a better system for parking passes.

Maybe another system would be to base it on your GPA, similar to sports. Maybe the higher the GPA, the more likely you are to get a parking pass, while also taking into account the other conditions I stated before. For example, a student who has a 2.5 GPA and comes to school every day would get a pass, a student with a 1.2 GPA wouldn’t get a pass no matter what days they come, and a student with a 3.6 GPA who doesn’t come every day wouldn’t get a pass. I feel this would encourage students to earn better grades and also to explore more classes.

I’m sure there are many more great ideas for a better system. I think the GPA system would work the best. It would benefit everyone involved, the students have the motivation to get better grades and the school gets better ratings because of more students scoring higher. Of course, this system isn’t without its flaws too, if there are many students with good GPAs then there becomes the problem of who gets a pass. I believe if that becomes an issue, the passes should be first come, first serve.