Parking: the Problem That Won’t Seem to Go Away

Or at Least People Won't Stop Complaining About It

Parking: the Problem That Won't Seem to Go Away

By Bailey Kalous, Contributing Reporter

One issue is constantly on the minds of almost every Linn-Mar student. This a problem called parking. For plenty of years students have been complaining about the lack of parking, the large amount of time that it takes to leave campus, and the somewhat controversial lottery system. According to the “Student Parking Information and Forms” at Linn-Mar High School there are approximately 925 parking spots available for students. Juniors and Senior have 760 spots available while sophomores only have 165 spots available. The amount of parking spaces makes up for about half of the Linn-Mar student body. This is actually quite good compared to other schools in the area such as Kennedy which only has 446 on campus parking spots available. In the upcoming future though parking spaces at Linn-Mar could become a much larger problem. As the school keeps growing faster and faster more parking spots will be needed for the larger number of students that will be driving to school. Dr. Gustason, principal, feels that this might start becoming a problem in the year 2022-2023.

A solution brought up by staff and some students could be the implementation of a new parking lot where the old softball field sits just west of the stadium. This area could supply up to 200 additional spaces for students to park. Another place that could add additional parking is behind the aquatic center, which would provide students with a lot more places to park.

The next problem with parking at Linn-Mar is the excessive amount of time that it can take to leave the parking lot after school. Most students and staff agree that this is a problem. Junior Riley Kalous says, “If I don’t get to my car right after away after 3:30, it will take me 15 minutes just leave the parking lot.”

This is especially a problem when a student has an after-school job. Some jobs schedule workers to come in at four so they need to be at their job right after school. The process of leaving school and getting dressed for work can cause these student workers to be late almost every time.

Senior Jackson Olmstead says, “It takes me so long to leave the parking lot that I have been late to work more than once. The school needs to make the parking lot easier to leave so that this doesn’t happen because it annoys me a lot.”

This is clearly a frustrating situation for students and even staff to deal with but there is not much that can be done by the school to fix it. The implementation of a traffic light or two could help, but putting traffic lights in is out of the schools’ hands. This issue is just something students will have to deal with.

An analogy that Dr. Gustason made was, “the parking lot is like when you’re going to an Iowa State basketball game at Hilton Coliseum. It is going to take a little time to get out of the lot because it’s a public event but it’s efficient enough that it does take a long time to get out.

The last problem with parking at Linn-Mar is the somewhat controversial lottery system. The way the lottery system works is that the juniors and seniors get put in a lottery to see who will win one of the 760 spots available within the north and south lots. The odds are quite high for juniors and seniors to win a spot but still there are occasions where a student does not get a spot. The next part of the lottery is for sophomores only. The school makes sophomores eligible to win one of the 165 spots located by the aquatic center area. Normally, most juniors and seniors are able to get parking but sophomore students are often the ones that get left out of the parking system. Additionally, freshman students (as of this year) no longer have to ability to park at the school and they must park on the side streets west of the high school. Another problem some students have with the lottery is the $25 price to actually obtain the parking pass after winning a spot through the lottery. Although this may seem unnecessary, this $25 price actually goes toward the upkeep and the maintenance of the lots. Linn-Mar is not the only school either that does this, most high schools in the Cedar Rapids area have students pay some sort of fee to park. Dr. Gustason said the fee for parking adds some additional value to the pass and makes it feel more important.

The fee for parking adds to the overall value of the pass and helps with funding the parking lot so it can be as nice as it is. Overall, parking will need to be addressed by the school somewhere in the future to combat overcrowding.