Every day, several students at Lincoln struggle to find parking. If Portland Public Schools adds a 1,300-space parking lot under the Lincoln High School building, both students and faculty will benefit greatly.
At the beginning of each semester at Lincoln, 30 free parking passes are raffled, but even the students who receive them aren’t guaranteed a space every day. Lincoln senior Elizabeth Evans says “a specific spot associated with each pass” would help that system.
Meanwhile, students without the passes who park in the street can only pay for up to five hours. To avoid a ticket, students must take precious time out of their already-short lunch or break schedule to feed the meter.
Parking on the street /runs up to $12 a day, when parking spots can be found, that is. Often, students must park blocks away from the school.
“Sometimes I park by Jeld Wen [Field] or Starbucks because there’s no parking right by the school,” said Lincoln senior Denali Hall.
There is a parking garage across from the school, but many students say that it is far too expensive.
“The parking garage next to Lincoln that many students have to use costs $7.50 everyday, which can add up to quite a bit of money after a few weeks,” said Lincoln senior Anna Hall. “One week of parking in that garage everyday costs more than the Goose Hollow permit which lasts several months,” Hall adds.
Opponents of the parking lot argue that there aren’t enough students who drive to justify an additional parking lot, but this is simply false. Hundreds of Lincoln seniors drive on any given day, as do many juniors.
Many students have no way to come to school unless they drive themselves, such as students who live in areas without public transport. Other students who live on school bus routes have a free first period, and come to school later when the buses aren’t running. These students have no option other than to drive to school, and in order for them to do this, there must be parking.
A Lincoln parking lot would also benefit students who participate in extracurricular activities.
“Many students participate in sports directly after school away from Lincoln and need to drive themselves in order to make it on time to practice,” said Anna Hall.
Other opponents of the parking lot say that a new lot would encourage driving and hurt the environment as well as the city’s environmentally friendly reputation. To this I say it would be great if we could decrease the number of cars driven, but there are still students who have no other option.
If we can provide more school bus routes or public transportation through more residential areas, then we can focus on decreasing the number of student drivers. But for the time being, students are going to be continue to drive to school, so we might as well provide them with a safe place to park.