Persisting Parking Problems at PCHS

The+PCHS+Junior+lot+on+a+rare+occasion+where+cars+are+not+backed+up+trying+to+exit+the+lot.

The PCHS Junior lot on a rare occasion where cars are not backed up trying to exit the lot.

Zach Minter, Staff Writer

The time: 2:28. The scene: the Eccles Parking Lot. The emotion: frustration. Imagine you’re waiting in the traffic line trying to leave school and go on with the rest of your day — a scenario that many licensed high school students face every day after school. Compound that scene with this: waiting on Kearns to try and get to school on time and then hopefully find a spot to park in. Again, this is yet another situation that many students face just to store their car at a place where they are legally mandated to be. Add this to having to pay to park, and then there’s a huge sentiment of annoyance and anger that students feel.  

One issue with the high school’s parking stems from the traffic. This isn’t necessarily anybody’s fault, but when discussing the flaws of the high school’s parking system, this has to be mentioned. Both the senior and junior lots have only one entrance and one exit to and from Kearns Boulevard, a two-way road with one lane going in each direction. This creates traffic spillovers into the parking lots and onto the street, and oftentimes many streets adjacent. Not only are students trying to get to and from school, but so are commuters entering Park City, and, in the winter, tourists and Sundance-goers only exacerbate the issue. Student pedestrian crossings flowing in between cars, slamming of brakes, and people constantly cutting off one another, among other things, makes entering and especially exiting the high school stressful. “The traffic is awful, they really need to do something about it. Maybe add multiple entrances,” said one student. Another concurred, “It’s brutal. It’s just really annoying to have to wait in line to leave.”

Another negative about PCHS’s parking policies comes from the payment. Students are required to pay a 100-dollar fee to obtain a parking permit and to leave their car during the school day. First of all, students aren’t guaranteed spots, which not only means that the fee isn’t to reserve a spot, but also that students sort of have to compete to park in a desirable spot. Next, students are required to attend school. According to Utah law, anyone ages 6 to 18 must attend school (16 with guardian consent), and transportation is key to attendance. By putting parking behind a paywall, the ability of students to legally park at the high school is severely diminished and disproportionately hurts low-income families. When asked their opinion on paying to park, one student, who wished to remain anonymous, said “I think it’s idiotic. I don’t think we should have to pay for parking when we have to be here.” Another told me, “I think it’s dumb ‘cause it doesn’t even ensure that we have a place to park. Today I couldn’t even park in an actual spot.”