Parking Pass Predicaments


Photo by Sophie Blank

The source of student complaints, a lower parking lot pass, required to safely and legally park without getting fined. “We are a diverse school so not everyone that attends can afford the luxury that is to park,” Jenna Helsing (12) said. Helsing herself dealt with problems in the lower lot and wishes that a change could be made to make parking easier and cheaper for students.

Sophie Blank, Copy Editor

The lower parking lot is a very unique place. Hundreds and hundreds of cars, row upon row upon row of machines heating up in the hot Colorado sun. Inside of every car is a red and blue camouflage pass, signaling the car’s right to be there. At least, that’s how it’s supposed to be. But when those plastic passes cost upwards of 50 dollars each, problems arise. Not everyone can afford to hang the camouflage colors on their rearview mirrors. Many students have found themselves unable to park in the lower lot, and don’t know what they are supposed to do.

One prime example of this lies with senior student Jenna Helsing (12), who was having trouble getting the money to pay for her pass, and was too busy to go get one with her classes and her job taking up all of her time. One day, as she was scurrying out to her car to head off to work, she found a warning that told her that if she parked in the lower lot again, she would be fined. “We are a public high school, parking should be free or at least not as expensive as it is now…50 to 75 dollars just to come to school,” Helsing said. “I’m middle class. I can’t imagine how it is for the kids who literally can’t afford a pass, let alone a ticket for not having one.”

The rule of the school is that if you don’t have a pass, you can’t park. If you do park without a pass, you will be fined. That leaves students wondering what they are supposed to do before they can get a pass. Paige Hickman (12) was caught in a tough situation when she had to park to go get herself a pass and was fined in that small space of time.

“I came in yesterday morning to buy my parking pass and there was a problem with my insurance, but there wasn’t enough time before class to fix it right then,” Hickman said. “I said that I would come back later and he said that that was okay and that he wouldn’t write me up. I came back as soon as I could… I went out to my car to put my parking pass on, and there was a ticket.” Despite the security guard’s promise, Hickman still wound up having to pay an extra 25 dollars for her parking fine.

Students have pondered whether or not there is a better solution for payment and fines. When asked about her opinion on the topic, Hickman responded by saying, “Maybe they could have a temporary kind of parking pass for special circumstances.”

She believes that if the school offered temporary passes to those with special circumstances, students could safely park without worrying about getting fined until they could get a permanent pass. Helsing offered another solution, saying, “I think that they could make the prices lower, reasonably 15 dollars for lower and 30 max for upper.” She believes that the school has enough finances as it is, and does not need to charge students so much to park. “Our after-prom budget is 13,000 dollars. I doubt they need to make the passes almost 100 dollars per person,” Helsing said.

With so many students needing a place to park, security seems to have found an easy way to make sure that everyone belongs there, and even found a way to profit off of it. But the number of students that are upset with the parking system could mean that the school needs to make a change to the lower lot to accommodate students from all walks of life.