The Parking Problem: Ongoing construction causes lack of parking

The Parking Problem: Ongoing construction causes lack of parking

Infographic by Charlotte Rooney

Charlotte Rooney, Opinion Editor

Construction trucks roll into the parking lot, sending the taste of exhaust into innocent bystanders’ mouths.
Cars become dusty, and the gravel road is muddy.
Blue Valley will have to live with this for the rest of the school year as construction surrounds the parking lot.
Residents in nearby neighborhoods have called the school, complaining about students parking on side streets. Parents work, and some students don’t have another option besides driving to school because unless students live more than three miles away, they have to pay $250 to ride the bus.
There were only 28 parking spots available for sophomores this year as opposed to the almost 100 parking spots used in previous years.
Though construction “will be ongoing throughout the school year and the summer,” Student Resource Officer Dennis Randall said students can look forward to a completely new parking lot for the 2015-2016 school year.
There is no set completion date for the continuous projects at BV, but Randall said it should be ready by the next school year.
Plans include adding a roundabout to the furthest east and west entrances and a parking lot at the top of the hill behind the school. New parking spaces will be wider than the current spaces, and the current spots will be repainted to be this new width.
Randall said the gravel road will be redone and repaved and estimates BV will have 750-900 total parking spots. After the construction is complete, Randall said he expects BV to have enough spots for seniors, juniors and sophomores.
Randall said there was an issue with students parking on both sides of the street in nearby neighborhoods last year. Residents called to complain about difficulty getting out of driveways and driving down the street.
“This year, [students] are only parking on one side, which will eliminate most of the problems,” Randall said.
Officer Ken Braden drives around the surrounding neighborhoods every day to make sure students follow the parking laws. If someone has a parking violation, Braden must contact the violator.
Sophomore Brenna Stroud was given a warning the first day of school.
“I got a slip of paper, and I had to talk to Officer Randall,” Stroud said. “He said I had blocked a driveway, and if I had another violation, I would get a ticket.”
Randall also spoke to sophomore Daniel Hegarty about his parking.
“I got a warning for a $200 ticket on the second day of school because I parked behind someone’s driveway,” Hegarty said.
Randall said he has warned several students parking in the neighborhood who had blocked a driveway.
“We run their license plate number through our computer system and find out who the owner of the vehicle is,” Randall said. “Then, we look up that last name on Synergy.”
Randall said students can avoid tickets by following parking laws set by the state and by the school.