Parking Space Predicament

Parking Space Predicament

Matthew Welsh, Staff writer

Here at Chamblee Charter High School, parking spots have always been a sought after commodity, the likes of which have not changed with the addition of hundreds of new students to the school’s population. If anything, the lust for parking spaces here at Chamblee has been magnified due to the ratio of spaces to people. Approximately 10 percent of Chamblee’s 1,700 member student body drive themselves to school daily. Initially, this may seem like an insignificant amount, but in reality, it amounts to around 170 students that need access to on-campus parking spaces.

“We have a total of 137 students who have applied for a spot, but by the end of the month, we expect to reach or even exceed the 162 limit,” said Ronald Brown, Campus Supervisor.

The current total of student-allotted spaces amounts to 162 spots, hoping to serve the 10 percent of students who drive to Chamblee, but with an addition of 200 spots reserved for staff,  what space there is, is in high demand. The fact that the number of applications is expected to exceed the number of available student spots is concerning. Parking rules at Chamblee that regulate students and staff areas can often be vague and misleading, a problem that leaves students and teachers across the school concerned with the efficiency of the parking process..

“We are going over a plan to reallocate parking spots in an effort to accommodate the number of students and teachers that we now have, which should also leave room for visitor parking,” said Brown. “The main issue is a lack of signage in the main lot, which leads to students parking in spots reserved for visitors and teachers.”

But perhaps the lack of spots affects no one more than students in the dual enrollment program, who study both at Chamblee and Georgia State University throughout the day. Not only do these students need to secure a spot, but must have a spot by the time they reach school during the afternoon. Due to the absence of a bussing from Georgia State University to Chamblee, dual enrollment students must commute on their own, and although the parking application process allows for them to obtain spots before others, worry among these individuals still lingers.  

“I feel that dual enrollment students should get priority on spots because we have to actually drive to school from the college to school, and I mean, seniors should get priority over juniors because they have been here longer,” said dual enrollment junior Zaria Henry.

Among these students, the application process itself seems rather straightforward, but attaining that spot is not all they have to worry about. Warnings are often threatened to those committing parking infractions, but little action is ever really taken.  

“I know that warnings were given out to people who parked in other people’s spots, but that did not do much to fix the issue because other than that not much was done.” said senior Derek Evans.

Among the many looming problems that commuters may have to face, there is frustration over a lack of action. Failing to reprimand parking infractions has made the lot an open season on spots.

“I think they should make another parking lot with more spaces because that could give everyone enough room to easily find a spot,” said senior Bek Loftus.

The common idea among students and staff is for more spaces to be created in an additional lot, but that idea leads to zoning issues and property restrictions. Simply expanding parking areas is easier said than done.

“It’s not only this year that I have noticed problems, but I know students from last year who also had parking problems,” said Loftus. “I guess it’s not exactly an easy problem to solve, but I think it definitely needs to be looked at.”

Parking has been a regular source of strife for many here at Chamblee, one that causes obstacles for both staff members and students. The parking dilemma at Chamblee has reached its peak with the addition of hundreds of new students, and the parking arrangement has grown into a situation that warrants considerable attention.