“A Dollar a Day”: The Realities of Parking at Pentucket

Photo Source: Me

Photo Source: Me

Riley Bucco, Writer

I don’t know about you, but I think I could spend $180 on something a little better than renting a narrow piece of pavement. 


No, not everyone needs a car and there are busses available, but the price of a parking spot should not be the reason that a student does not drive to school in the car that they already spend a lot of money on. In many situations, especially because of the lack of playing fields at our school, a student-athlete needs their car for transportation from school to practice. Junior Bethany Cloutier stated, “I need my car to get to Pipestave for soccer practice. It would be really hard to get through school and sports without it.” I, and many other student-athletes, feel the same way as Cloutier. 


Another huge part of the frustration of the parking situation at Pentucket is when people who did not pay for a spot, park in a random spot and throw things off. Oftentimes people park in a visitor’s spot to avoid the crazy parking lot and the $180, which is not fair. Another thing that people do, is put their cars in places that clearly are not parking spots. Just recently, I pulled into the parking lot and realized that someone parked in my spot. No part of this is right, and for someone who did not pay the price to be selfish enough to pull into an unknown spot, is ridiculous. Well, at least that was my initial reaction.

As I try to keep an open mind about everyone’s situation, I realized that this could mean that people who take spots without paying can not afford to buy a parking pass. Even with this in mind, after someone pays a whopping $180 for a parking spot, shouldn’t the school protect it in some way? 


When Junior Reese Gallant was asked to explain why she thinks $180 is an unreasonable price for a parking spot, she stated “$180 is a dollar a day, making it sound slightly more reasonable, but in times where it is your only way of getting to school, and one may not be able to pay that amount, the school should be able to provide you a free parking spot.” Gallant is exactly right.


 “A dollar a day” sounds reasonable but in reality, that is not a deal. It almost seems like we are being tricked into paying this ridiculous amount. 


Also, do students even know where all of this money is being put? Most seniors and a good amount of juniors drive to school, which means the school is making 27 thousand dollars a year on average. Senior Bella Panteledes agrees with this and added, “I have no idea where the money goes, and the school should be more transparent about it.” According to the survey that I created, there is not a single student who knows where this large amount of money is being thrown. 


After doing research and contacting administrators,  I found that the money is being put aside for snow removal, over what is originally budgeted if there is a bad winter, or for grounds improvements. From what I understand, if we do not experience a bad winter or grounds problems in a few years, the money is either piling up or being distributed to something else that was not stated. To me, it seems as if the school does not need this money, and lowering the price of parking would not affect anything except limiting parking spots due to the easier amount to pay. 


It completely makes sense that there are limited spots available in the parking lot which is why there needs to be a price to pay, or else there would not be enough spots. As the parking lot in the new school is going to be even more limited, it would be good to come up with a way where parking spots need to be earned and not involve money, or a much smaller amount of money. Students had no say in how many spots there are going to be in the parking lot, so making us pay is a system that needs to be re-thought and shifted. 


Since the school does not urgently need this money, a better way to manage who gets a parking spot could be to encourage students to succeed and earn their spot. So, next time you get mad at someone who is not following the rules, try to come up with a better system.