Sophomores Should Be Allowed To Park, Too

Daulton Bahm, Online Editor

For the sophomores of Athens Drive, finding a safe place to park is very difficult. Since there is no official “sophomore lot,” sophomores that had to drive to school primarily parked on Jaguar Park Drive, the road connecting Athens Drive to Williams Stadium and the baseball field. Although parking on Jaguar Park Drive was already risky due to the risk of theft and vandalism, it was one of the only spots where sophomores could park without receiving a parking ticket.

Attempting to park in the Junior Lot, Senior Lot or any other parking area around the school without a valid parking permit will likely result in a parking ticket. Driving with parents is not always possible, as many parents have jobs and cannot be late for work.

With sophomore parking already as difficult as it was, April 20, Jaguar Park Drive, also known as Stadium Drive by Athens’ older students, was closed to parking in order to begin construction of the new stadium. In addition, the gravel parking lot located near the senior lot was also closed to parking. This left ADHS sophomores without a safe place to park in reasonable distance from the school. Since many sophomores enjoy driving to school, they have recently started to park in the baseball field lot, which is about a half mile from the school, a long walk to complete early in the morning.

Many sophomores are 16 years-old by the middle of the school year, but for some reason ADHS no longer sells parking spots to sophomores. Last year, a limited number of parking spaces were sold in the gravel parking lot located near the senior lot, but since this area was also closed off, it is also no longer an option. If a student is old enough to drive and has a car, he or she should be allowed to drive to school and park without getting ticketed.

“I just got a car last week, and now I don’t have a place to park it,” said Quinn Bahm, sophomore. Bahm is one of the many sophomores who are scrambling to find a place to park cars.

Restricting parking on Jaguar Park Drive does not only affect sophomores. Many juniors and seniors that cannot afford to buy a parking permit also now have nowhere to safely park. At the beginning of the school year, a parking permit costs $170 to purchase, which is very expensive and difficult to obtain. The price drops $17 every month, but the lot usually fills up before more spots can be purchased midway through the year.

For the rest of this year, the school needs to find a temporary solution to this problem. If available, spots in the junior and senior lots should be up for sale to underclassmen. The best way to fix this problem once the stadium is completed is to open up the new stadium lot to sophomores (and even freshmen as long as they have a car and a driver’s license), which will allow all Athens students to safely park without getting ticketed or major theft risk. The current plan for the new stadium will add over 200 additional parking spaces, which will solve the problem of sophomore parking for future classes.