For many high schoolers, reaching the age of 16 means they are excited by the prospect of driving. In some cases, this means getting to drive to school. However, although there are many advantages of Lincoln students going to school in the middle of Downtown Portland, parking is not one of them.
Students often have to resort to expensive street parking or various parking lots scattered nearby Lincoln that are usually full. The only free parking is found in Lincoln’s small parking lot, which is designated for teachers and faculty members.
Although street parking is convenient, the spots that surround Lincoln are only 4-hour zones that cost $2.00 per hour. In order to avoid a parking ticket, students hypothetically would have to move their cars during lunch.
Many students risk parking tickets because of other activities during the school day. They “feed the meter–” meaning rather than moving their car, they extend the time on the parking app Parking Kitty and hope that parking officers don’t ticket them.
According to the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), “for short-term meters (4 hours or less), the vehicle is subject to citation if it remains on the same side of the block beyond the maximum time allowed, regardless of additional payments.”
With Lincoln’s longest passing periods only 10 minutes, students find it difficult to go outside and move their cars even if they only have to move it a block.
There are many parking lots and garages around Lincoln, however, they range from $200-$240 a month. Many students don’t have the money to pay for these lots and many of these lots don’t have availability. If a student wants a spot in one of these lots or garages, they have to sign up in the summer to ensure that there will be an available spot.
Junior Anna Miller parks at the 1221 SW Salmon Street lot, which is 0.2 miles away from Lincoln. The lot costs her $200 dollars a month to park. Miller’s only option to get to school is by car because her parents leave earlier than she leaves for school and there is no bus stop near her house.
Miller thinks that driving to school comes with more disadvantages because “of the amount [she] has to pay and having to park farther away from school and it’s all fairly inconvenient. Paying this much just to park at school is not worth it.”
Junior Malia Chan needs to drive to school every day because of her schedule that requires her to be in different places every day.
Although there are school buses and public transportation that can take students to and from school, for some students, that is not an option due to where they live. A school bus does go to Chan’s house, however, it would require her to “wake up much earlier” and she “wouldn’t get home until 5:30 pm.”
This is a problem for Chan specifically because she plays sports for Lincoln and often, practices are right after school. Many other Lincoln students have a similar problem.
Chan pays up to $16 on parking and with having to pay for gas and the four parking tickets that she has received this year, the expenses have racked up.
“I’m not able to take out my phone and reload my parking during class and because of this, I keep getting tickets,” says Chan.
Incoming seniors are able to apply for a Goose Hollow parking pass in August. Those who apply are randomly chosen in a drawing that occurs right before school starts. This allows seniors to park around the school in Goose Hollow permitted spaces without having to pay every day or need to move their car. If students park in Lincoln’s parking lot, they will be fined $50 and if they continue to park there, they are at risk of being towed.
The new Lincoln building will not include a parking structure of any kind.
“It’s ridiculous that we still don’t have parking access for students when it’s such a prominent issue. I wish this would change,” says Chan.