Monfort Parking Issue

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Parking lot illustration – vector car park infrastructure graphics.

Susanna Keiserman, Staff Writer

Every year, seniors at Schreiber are given the opportunity to obtain a pass to park in the Monfort parking lot.  After handing in a copy of their class D drivers license, car registration, a contract with the school, and application, many students assume they will have a place to park everyday, but that is often not the case.  With teachers and permit-holding residents using the lot, there are not enough leftover spaces for driving seniors, forcing many students to arrive at school very early or risk not having somewhere to park.  

“Whenever I have my first period off, I can’t park in Monfort since there aren’t enough spots for the seniors and they are always taken,” said senior Amanda Kaminsky.

As a result of the limited spaces, seniors who don’t get to school early enough and juniors who are not yet allowed to park in the parking lot have had to find other parking options.  Some students get passes to park in the lot behind Boychiks, but that can be difficult as it is often reserved for commuters taking the train.  The more common decision has been to park on residential streets such as Park Avenue, other parts of Beacon hill, and the Park district, with available street parking.  Unsurprisingly, this has caused concern and annoyance regarding congestion among residents of those streets.  

“I don’t really face the problem, but I do have friends who are seniors who park around there…It does seem kinda dangerous because it makes the roads tighter and its already bad with the residents of the area not parking in their driveways,” said senior Miles Engle, who lives near Schreiber. 

With the amount of students parking on the streets in addition to the residents, dangerous is not an understatement. 

“I have found that there is not nearly enough space and that you have to pack in with other cars. My car was hit while parked within that area and I have not parked there since,” said junior Joe Asselta.  Like many juniors, he already has his license and finds driving to school to be convenient, but because of his grade level, is not allowed to park on school grounds.

While Schreiber does not limit the amount of seniors who receive parking passes, despite the limited spaces, some schools have and even have specific spaces assigned to students.  For example, Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School’s parking passes are distributed only to as many seniors as can fit in the lot and are decided using a lottery.  At Great Neck North, only the first seniors to apply are given a space they can rely on for the rest of the year.  Schreiber could certainly try one of these solutions, but then the question is raised of if the spots should really be randomly given or to whoever gets to registration first.  After all, not all students have an actual need to drive to school. Students can walk if they live close enough, carpool with a friend or neighbor, or ask a parent to drive them. 

While the school has limited power in addressing the problem and can’t prevent students from parking outside of school grounds, they could potentially provide parking permits only to students who live a certain distance from the school.  It’s plausible that there would still be competition for spaces but it might discourage students who live close to the school from driving when they could instead walk or be picked up by a friend who lives further away.  

“I think people who live outside of half a mile should get parking passes first because they have more of a reason to drive to school, but after a certain sign up date, anyone who wants should be able to get a spot,” said junior Sasha Bandler.

Favoring students who live farther away from the school would not necessarily stop competition for spaces and could cause even more students to choose to park in the surrounding neighborhoods.  However, an organized walking and carpooling campaign by the school could make a difference, even outside of school grounds.  By choosing to walk to school or get a ride with a friend and encouraging peers to do the same, students would be promoting environmentally friendly transportation options while benefiting the town which is congested and overcrowded far beyond the Monfort lot.