Parking Wreaks Havoc Among AHS Students

Over the past few months, it feels as if school starts at 7:55 a.m. rather than 8:45 a.m. The sole reason is the parking debacle. Juniors that drive to school, must leave early enough to park outside of the AMS parking lot on the rim, which is owned by the city. Although the city permits 15-minute parking on the rim, it is the only place students can park without getting a large, green embarrassing sticker, or even worse a boot followed by a 75-dollar fine. If students arrive too late to get a spot, they must resort to either the ARC or the AMS lot which both end in a ticket.

This is not only an issue for the juniors, but also the seniors. This school year, AHS only handed out sixty parking passes to the seniors. This leaves the remaining 68 seniors to hunt for parking as well.

Personally, I am fortunate enough to live in Snowmass, but I still leave at 7:45 a.m. in order to get a spot on the rim. Prior to the strictly enforced rules, I left at 8:20 a.m.. As the rim fills up earlier and earlier everyday, many juniors and seniors are getting annoyed with this issue. On countless occasions, my peers receive the green stickers and even boots. I am aware that this is not a quick fix, but the first step is raising awareness of the parking issue.

Sleep is critical to a teens ability to focus. According to the Sleep Foundation, “Without enough sleep, children and teens can have problems with attention, memory, and problem-solving. Sleep deprivation can also contribute to emotional issues and behavior problems that may affect academic achievement.” The hard course load at AHS forces students to stay up late in order to finish their assignments for the next day. Going to bed late and waking up earlier to attempt to secure a parking spot is unreasonable.

Students already have constant stress about school and personal things. Stressors such as homelife, after high school plans, etc. Parking should be the least of their worries. The weight a student is carrying should not be walking down to their car and seeing a neon color on their vehicle. Stress as it is is a lot to handle and an aspect that could go away rapidly is a secure parking spot.

Whenever this issue is addressed lightly with a teacher or admin, the answer is always the same. Bus. Taking the bus is not as easy or accessible as some think. Some students do not live near a bus stop, and have working parents that cannot drop them off or pick them up in the morning and afternoon. Another drawback is for the students that live down valley. The school bus does not go anywhere near El Jebel or Basalt. This results in an accessibility issue. Getting to school is as large of an issue as leaving school is. Students have work after school starting as early as 4pm. The RFTA and school buses often do not leave until 4pm. Our school is very athletic and the practice schedules are all over the place. Practices are at a different time each day, and the bus system does not work around our students. Teachers should be able to empathize with the students, instead of giving us a one word “solution” that would not work for most.

The school could offer a carpooling/HOV pass. If you carpool with other peers you can apply for a carpool pass. This would minimize the amount of cars in the parking lot, but also have the cars be full of students. Not only would it minimize the amount of cars, but the 75 dollar fee could also be reduced. With many of your peers working together to pay the fee would make it more affordable for all. From personal experience, most of my peers in the junior class drive with at least one other student. By creating this pass, it eliminates the amount of tickets and fines, and students can drive without a big stress factor on their minds.