Graphic by Jack Tirsch
The conversation over parking at PMHS has been a long-standing one, with both teachers and students constantly facing issues over where to park their cars in the morning before school. Recently, I, a newly licensed driver received my first parking ticket for parking on Pelhamdale Avenue supposedly for either one hour parking or Colonial teachers with a parking permit. However, the only sign visible to me in the area in which I parked was a sign saying, “no parking here to corner”, which I obeyed. There was no signage indicating that I could not park in this area. It was only after I drove up the street, not in the proximity in which I parked, that I found signs indicating this. This unclear signage and situation brought to light the troubles students have with parking, and brought memories back to me of other students talking about the many parking tickets they have received.
Other issues regarding parking are how far students have to park just to get to school, and even the struggles teachers face with the lack of parking. This is an issue at the high school which needs to be addressed, not only for students, but also for the school’s staff.
From placing chalk on cars to handing out tickets like homework, the town strictly enforces the parking rules around the school. This is fine, but how fair is it? Are parking enforcers visiting other areas of town checking other parked cars and enforcing rules as strictly as they do near the school? The town of Pelham clearly sees the subpar parking situation as an easy way to profit off of high schoolers simply wanting to drive their cars as a means of transportation to get to school.
Students and teachers clearly face a lack of space for parking, and as more incidents with tickets and people not finding parking spots arise, the question of why PMHS does not have a designated parking lot comes up. Parking on Highbrook and Pelhamdale are really the only places to park without having to move your car, and only in certain areas due to restrictions. Students are not the only ones facing this issue, but also teachers and staff. As a district, it is wrong to subject teachers and staff to this, as well as irritating students.
One possible solution to these issues is converting either Ingalls Field or Franklin Field to a parking lot. While this would obviously eliminate one of these fields (or at least half of one), it begs the question of why we have ample fields through Glover along with school/town fields, while there is a tremendous lack of parking for the high school? While these are not correlated, the elimination of one field, or even part of one field, could improve this ongoing problem for students and staff. There are six fields at Glover, two large fields at the high school, and fields around town that are utilized by various sports teams. So would the elimination of one field be a trade off for better parking at PMHS?
This question is important to add to the conversation regarding parking at school as the high school and district have failed to address this apparent issue. It is necessary to bring to light this concern that students and faculty face daily, and for the administration to face the problem at hand and actively seek solutions.