Parking Passes- Unreasonably Expensive with no substantial benefits

Dana Shefet, Editor-in-Chief

North Carolina residents pay taxes, the government then receives the tax money and that tax money is used to build city necessities, including schools, which are public facilities. With the money that schools receive, they construct buildings and parking lots, yet students are still forced to pay to park at a school that they have paid for through their tax dollars.

In order to receive a parking spot, upperclassmen are required to pay $170 per year for an assigned spot in the junior or senior lot. But is it fair to only provide spots to the students who are able to pay the hefty fine? Being a part of the public school system, every person with a car, regardless of their grade or financial status, should be able to park in a safe area. Some students who do not have parking passes cannot afford them, while others find it ridiculous to pay such a high price just for a place to leave their car for seven hours.

When paying for our parking spots at the beginning of the school year, we are told that our money goes to buying updated security cameras, paying for the security guards, and for the parking tags that must be hung in our cars at all times. But when an accident occurs in the parking lot and the cameras are so outdated that they cannot even catch the act on camera, many students feel their money is disappearing into thin air rather than ensuring their safety.

Athens Drive has one the most expensive parking pass rates in all of Wake County. Apex High School sells their passes for $100 while Enloe High School sells their passes for $50. If we are all getting the same service, security for our cars, then why do Athens Drive students have to pay over triple the price of other schools in our county?

Many students do not feel that they have another option other than paying for a pass, they either risk getting their car towed or leave it unmonitored in an unsafe neighborhood. During the construction of the new football stadium this past year, big trucks loaded with heavy equipment risked destroying all parked cars on Stadium Drive, creating an unnecessary hassle for both the school, the truck companies and the student drivers parked on the street.

For many students at Athens Drive, the $170 fee comes straight out of their tight high school salaries, which is also used to pay for gas, food and leisure activities. Although some may say that the best alternate of not paying for the pass would be to take the school bus, the transportation does not fit everyone’s schedule, including those who have to stay after school for clubs and sports. If Athens Drive would determine the minimal price actually needed to cover the basics and provide them effectively, then all upperclassmen drivers, as well as their wallets, would be saying a big thank you.