The Pentucket Parking Problem

(Photo Source: PEXELS)

(Photo Source: PEXELS)

Thomas Sunkenberg, Writer

You just got your license, and you’re about to drive to school for the first time ever. Then, suddenly, you get the dreaded email. On September 8th, an email was sent out to students explaining that parking would be significantly limited for this school year. With the construction of the new parking lot, the school will lose around 100 spots. Only seniors and staff were able to obtain permanent parking. Juniors, on the other hand, were out of luck.  

Juniors were left with two options: buy a temporary pass, or continue to ride the bus. The temporary pass is a $50 pass that gives juniors parking access until November when the new parking lot would be finished. After November, juniors would lose their pass, and continue to commute as they did previously. Juniors were upset with the temporary pass and not being able to park throughout the year as they anticipated.

The pricing and timing of the temporary pass were controversial to many. The parking pass was priced at $50, and juniors would only be able to utilize it for a short period. For juniors whose birthdays were in October or November, the value of the pass would be next to none. Juniors were upset about this situation because they felt that it wasn’t fair. Pentucket Junior, Jackson Woodsum, stated, “I think it’s stupid, it’s not fair at all. I don’t want to make my mother drive me anymore, it’s not fair for her.”   

Mr. Bates, the Pentucket High School vice principal, was interviewed about the situation. When asked about whether or not this is fair for juniors, he stated, “I think it’s fair because parking is a privilege. Most schools don’t even allow parking. I think we’re doing the best we can given the situation”. 

Mr. Bates brings up that most schools don’t allow parking, which is correct, however, those schools tend to be in urban areas while Pentucket is in a suburban/rural area where students live up to 25 minutes away. Parking is only limited for the 22-23 school year, meaning Juniors will be able to park next year. Mr. Bates brings up that the school is doing its best given the situation because it is out of the school’s hands because the construction of the parking lot is up to the construction company. The construction company decided to downsize the new parking lot for the 22-23 school year. 

The other concern that surrounded this situation was juniors stealing spots in the new parking lot. The old parking lot had 360 spots, meaning there was generally enough to go around if a junior decided to steal one. The new parking lot will be losing 100 spots, therefore, if a junior decides to steal one, then finding another spot would be difficult. When I asked Pentucket junior Trevor Cloutier about if he would continue to park even though he wouldn’t have a pass, he replied, “I’m still gonna try and park, but I’m gonna wait and see first.” 


(Photo Source: PEXELS)

You may wonder, what should I do if someone takes my spot? When I asked Mr. Bates about the school’s policy with stealing a spot he replied, “We’re working with students on an individual basis and when we find them we just give them a stern warning. We don’t want to give tickets.” 

My opinion on this situation is that it’s unfortunate that it happened, but it’s out of the school’s control. I feel bad for the juniors that are out of luck with parking, but it’s not the end of the world to take the school bus. With everything that could have gone wrong with the construction of the new school, this is one of the minor issues that could have occurred. The only issue I have with this situation is that it was such short notice. Students were only given notice of this decrease in spots the week school began, which is not enough time.