Parents' Social Hour Wrecks Students' Parking Possibilibities
BY KATE CUNNINGHAM
As the guard waves me on through the back gate, it fills me with false hopes that maybe I came early enough, maybe there are still some spaces left, but once my eyes look beyond his welcome I am faced with the disheartening sight of the Iolani student parking lot at 7:15 A.M. in the morning.
A caravan of station wagons and minivans rest at a painful halt, their bright red break lights mocking me as I slowly search for that one last vacant parking stall.
The lot is rarely full, but the impenetrable line of cars at the lower-school drop-off area always block me. I would like to honk my horn and bulldoze them out of my way, but I have yet had the courage to take out my frustrations.
There are mothers fixing their children's hair, others enjoying a leisurely breakfast, and parents socializing, all unaware of grief and frustration they have caused by taking up that parking that could have been mine.
This ordeal causes many of Iolani's students to arrive in the dark and dismal hours of the morning to guarantee themselves parking. On the other hand, one can simply arrive at 7:50 A.M., when magically all the traffic disappears. Not only are you granted a parking spot, but an unexcused tardy slip as well.
I should not have to wake up at the crack of dawn or be late every day park on campus. The tribulations I and all other students who drive are forced to go through simply to get parking are uncalled for.
The promise of improved student parking in Iolani's "grand plan" for the distant future will not benefit me or anyone who is here now. Something in the immediate future must be accomplished.
I see two uncomplicated solutions to this nagging issue, the easiest one being to move the lower-school drop-off area. They could be dropped off on other streets or simply moved to the left side of the street so parking is not blocked.
Another solution is time limits (that are enforced). It's not the people that stop for only a moment that cause the difficulty, the culprits are those who treat dropping off or picking up their child as an ordeal that take 45 minutes to accomplish.
At the very least, there need to be a time limit for how long some of those cars can sit parked in the road. When school lets out I often arrive to find a car parked behind me with no driver in sight, trapping me for a good five or 10 minutes, or sometimes even forcing me to track them down in an awkward confrontation.
Iolani is filled with countless rules and regulations, so I do not see how in this area there seem to be none. There is a clear double standard favoring the comfort and leisurely pace of lower-school parents over the accessibility of the parking lot to student drivers.
Times are changing and as more students begin to drive, the problem will only worsten. Gridlock Alley needs to revert back into a real road, not the sight of constant traffic jams caused by lower school's morning social hour.Return to Contents for Feb. 22, 2000