by Maya Waldman
Police have threatened to fine and tow illegally parked vehicles after disgruntled students have begun using unauthorized spots near school property.
Students are frustrated by the seeming lack of student parking near school and have begun taking matters into their own hands, according to vice-principal Amy Winston. Students have been caught parking in spaces in school lots and on certain side streets, which are not open to students.
Newton police distribute Tiger parking permits to juniors and seniors. Only 150 permits are available each year, said Winston.
“I understand that students want to park closest to school, which is on Hull Street. I can’t control the parking situation at all, nor can the teachers or principal. Students need to utilize all the parking available even if they are further from school,” said senior class president Emily Szeto.
Other than the spaces available on Hull Street, parking farther from the school is reserved for students on Elmwood Park and Claflin Park, off of Lowell Avenue.
“The situation is a little frustrating. It’s such a big school that they should have more parking available for student drivers,” said junior Zoe Lee.
“We usually give students a little leeway on the first week of school, to figure out where they are parking. But if you’re not parking in the right place you could get a citation,” said youth officer John Panica.
Winston insisted that student parking was available throughout the morning in the designated areas. “I went to check the parking spaces at Elmwood and Claflin at 8:30 a.m. and the street wasn’t even half full,” said Winston. “Some parents told me their children get to school earlier, so I went to check at 7:15 a.m., and there was only one car parked on the street.”
Students should think about whether or not they need to drive to school, Szeto said. Students who live closer to the school may consider walking and allowing students who live farther away to get the parking spots, she added.
“Personally, I think the school should buy more land near the school and build one big parking lot for students, like the faculty parking lot,” said Lee.
“The only piece of advice I would give students is to get to school early, and get the best spots,” said Panica.
Maps of student parking areas and student parking regulations are available in the 2016-2017 Summer Information Booklet, available on the North website or in the Main Office.
In a related move, Principal Henry Turner will raffle off his faculty parking spot by the loading dock to a senior for two weeks in the fall.