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The Foothill Dragon Press

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The overlooked benefits and problems of school parking

Kathleen Cheng
Students with parking spots exit the school during lunch by showing their stamped ID card. Others can walk down Day road grabbing lunch at popular spots such as Domino’s Pizza, Starbucks or Eddies Grill.

As the student population at Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) has increased, it seems as though parking has not been able to keep up. With a good amount of the student population driving, many who don’t have a designated spot within the Foothill Tech parking lot struggle to find one on the crowded Loma Vista and Day Road. Those that do find a spot may have to risk parking in high traffic areas where it can be near impossible to get out if their timing is even slightly off. Even worse, with so many streets lined with signs posting hour based parking, potential parking tickets can soon become an unwelcome problem. 

Kathleen Cheng

Due to the roads being packed and the potential risk of parking tickets, students who do not have designated spots typically have to worry about arriving at school early to get one of the limited free spots on the side of the roads. Before having a spot, “I would have to get to school 15 minutes early because there’s so many students who don’t have a parking spot” stated Rebecca Walker ‘24. Walker now enjoys her spot, explaining that it has allowed her more time in the morning to sleep.

Prior to 2014, Foothill Tech charged students a $100 parking fee for a designated parking spot on campus. Due to other schools such as Buena High School (Buena) and Ventura High School (Ventura) having free parking available to students, the Ventura Unified School District (VUSD) decided to remove parking fees for Foothill Tech as well. Currently, Foothill Tech keeps a lottery system for most spots. Paid parking is an adequate route for some students as it guarantees a designated spot and shortens the time it takes in the morning to arrive at class. 

According to Jean Barret, the school services assistant that is also in charge of Foothill Tech’s parking lot, there are a total of 130 spots; 58 of the spots are assigned to students through the lottery system and 13 additional spots are auctioned up, where they sell for up to $500 for school funding. These auctions are done through Foothill Tech’s Silent Auction or through sports auctions where certain sports are given spots to auction off in order to help with their funding. The spots vary in price based with it often going to the highest bidder rather than being a set price.

The auctioning system can be quite expensive seeing that it is typically given to the highest bidder but those that do have a spot at school, either through the lottery system or having it be bought, it can be very convenient. Megan Graves ‘24 states “I am in the Drama club so I have to stay later in the evening … it is really nice to be able to be here on campus and know that my car is also here.” With the time change, the close proximity of her car does not force her into a daunting walk in the dark. 

Seeing the benefits of having a parking spot, it is easy to see why some may be willing to pay, but for some students this is not a possibility. Having a parking lottery instead of paying for a spot can be much more beneficial for the common student. Free parking does not place a financial burden on the student as paid parking would, and the money that could have been spent on parking could be used in a way more beneficial to the student, such as saving for college. 

Currently there is no alternative for students who do not have a parking spot. Although it may be hard to control, a useful alternative to those that do not get a spot would be to have a certain amount of spots available at Ventura College’s (VC) lot. Currently students who do wish to park in this lot are expected to pay a daily tax of $2. Those without a permit that get ticketed here can expect to pay a fine of up to $50. Available parking may prevent students from getting unwanted parking tickets or having to park in nearby neighborhoods. For juniors who do not want to worry about this problem, next year, check your email at the end of the year as Jean Barret will send out the google form to apply for the lottery.

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About the Contributors
Emilie Huovinen
Emilie Huovinen, Writer
I write articles not tragedies.
Kathleen Cheng
Kathleen Cheng, Videographer
Videographer that loves Sanrio and re-watching the same show 10 times.

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