Student parking at Central always seems to get worse during the winter time as snow and ice crowd the area and more sophomores earn their driver’s licenses and start driving to school. For many students, the current lack of available parking has become more than an inconvenience .
On Central’s campus, there are two lots where seniors can park: one that wraps around the outside of a the school near the auditorium, and a lot students share with staff behind the visitors’ side of the Memorial Stadium. There are a total of 315 spots on campus.
Seniors have the opportunity to reserve one parking spot for one semester, but even with the 630 total parking spots on campus, there are still not enough to cover the senior class if all of them chose to drive to school.
This is where off-site parking comes in. Students can also park on Hillside Street, at Saint John’s Episcopal Church parking lot across West Street and the gravel parking lot owned by the park district on West Street, across from the baseball field.
For some students, driving is the only option to get to school when parents leave for work and the bus comes too early.
“[I am] absolutely not [satisfied with the parking at Central],” junior Shae Yendrek said. “I struggle with parking because I wasn’t able to get a pass for the church since it was a raffle, and Hillside is always iffy now that the sophomores can drive.”
Hillside parking appears to be particularly impacted by the influx of new sophomore drivers. Most students who park on Hillside have to arrive at school at 6:45 or earlier if they want a spot.
Students who struggle to find parking typically decide they have no other option but to park illegally, either in staff parking spots, on neighborhood streets or past the four-hour parking limit at Rotary Hill across the street from the front entrance.
“Sometimes we will find that students are parking in staff spots and we’ll have them move,” Dean Roger said. “Same thing on the home side lot over by the stadium or by Door Nine and the pool lobby lot.”
Central is stuck with the current parking system at the moment, and it is unknown whether the remodeling of Knoch Park will include new spaces. There has been talk of selling parking at the retirement home on Martin Avenue, but to Strausberger’s knowledge, no such arrangements have been confirmed.
Inevitably, the best way for students to avoid the stress and hassle of finding parking is to take the buses, provided that they cover your neighborhood. Buses are not only for fuel efficiency per passenger, but are also up to 70 times safer, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Most students who avoid riding the bus cite that they have to wake up too early in order to make their bus, and that they don’t enjoy waiting.