The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

Parking Permit Sales Planned Poorly

Of the things a person might enjoy doing for six hours, waiting in line for a single parking permit typically does not come to mind.

But that is what juniors resorted to on Wednesday, August 18, in what became an insane line for parking permits.

That day, the administration announced that construction involving the installation of solar panels in the student parking lot would begin sometime in October. For the duration of the construction, 25 percent of the parking lot will be closed. As a result, the number of parking permits available was reduced by one-fourth.

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The school maintained the tradition of giving permits to all seniors who attend the permit sale. And so, the burden of the lack of permits fell entirely on the shoulders of this year’s Junior Class.

There are few who do not see the long-term value of solar panels. Rather, it is the way the parking permit sale was conducted that angered many juniors.

“I think the solar panels will benefit us in the long term,” junior Alexie Ogonowsky said. “But I think the parking permit situation could have been handled better.”

The administration’s handling of permit sales was both messy and chaotic.

On the day of the sale, juniors began camping out by the Eagle Theatre during sixth period. By 3 p.m., around 24 juniors were already waiting in line, Alexie said. The line continued to grow throughout the afternoon, by the end including as many as 50 juniors.

For the duration of the wait, the juniors received no word about the permit situation. Many were forced to wait hours in line with uncertainty.

And as if to add insult to injury, some seniors were able to waltz in after 7 p.m. and receive their permits 10 minutes later.

But perhaps the worst part of the parking permit fiasco was the temporary parking permits.

The temporary parking permits allow the holders to park in the parking lot only before and after the construction.

While this was not a terrible deal itself, the situation in which the permits were given amplified the anger the juniors felt.

The administration delayed breaking the news to the junior class until after all of the seniors received full-time parking permits. After hours of waiting, juniors were notified that the entire class would be receiving them at around 7:50 p.m.

It was under these conditions that the frustrations the juniors towards the temporary permits increased.

A couple measures could have made the parking permit sale run more smoothly.

For instance, the parking permit sale to seniors could have been held at 3 p.m. rather than at 7:30 p.m. Moving the time to four hours earlier would have saved the juniors’ time. Also, the parking permit sale for the juniors and seniors could each have been held on different days. That way, juniors would have avoided waiting with uncertainty.

Some juniors think senior priority should have been capped.

“I understand that they wanted to give the seniors priority, but there should have been a limit to how late they could come in order to get their permits,” junior Carolyn Lau said.

Although the initial handling of parking permit reduction was disastrous, the district, as well as the school administration, has taken steps in the right direction.

As a way of deterring students from illegally parking in the school’s front parking lot, the district plans to paint 42 angled parking slots along the side of the school facing Jardin Drive. The school administration estimates that this will allow an additional 27 cars to park at the back of the school.

Ultimately, school events like the parking permit sale must be planned more carefully so that similar chaos can be avoided in the future.

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