Parking: a privilege or problem?

Photo by Caroline Frisiras

By Caroline Frisiras, Staff Writer

     With Tigard High’s construction still ongoing, there are bound to be inconveniences in the everyday lives of Tigard’s students—whether it’s constant noises when taking a test, hallway closures, or sudden plumbing issues. One of the most controversial issues that remains a pressing issue for Tigard students, specifically for the class of 2021, is the parking situation.

     Due to limitations in Tigard’s parking availability, parking passes are only available for purchase by seniors, leaving juniors scrambling to find other parking arrangements during the school day. Because many upperclassmen have release periods at various times throughout the day, as well as students missing school due to illness, sports, travels, etc., there are more passes distributed than there are spots on campus. With 239 parking spots available to students on campus, 247 parking passes distributed to students, and far more students driving to school without passes, the parking situation has become stressful for many driving students.

     Since parking in neighborhoods is off the table, resulting in fines from the City of Tigard and Tigard Police Department, students without parking passes have resorted to parking in Tigard’s side lot—illegally. 

     This has caused somewhat of a divide between the senior and junior classes. Some seniors are opposed to the idea of juniors parking illegally, as it causes the school’s parking lots to fill up quicker, providing even less parking for students with parking passes. However, many juniors feel as if parking should be on a first-come-first-serve basis, not seniority, and see it as the only solution for transportation to and from school.

     “You have to make compromises, because there is just not enough space,” senior Sophie Petitjean says. She explains that with construction and limited parking availability, students need to be following the rules that Tigard puts in place to maximize efficiency.

     Senior Trevor Smith expresses that, due to the limited availability of side lot, it is only fair that students without parking passes refrain from taking spots from students who do.

    “Last year I respected the senior class, and I respected that they paid $50 for a parking pass,” Smith says. “Please just be respectful towards the seniors and not park in the side lot; It is becoming a big problem.”

     Not only is parking without a pass a nuisance for some seniors, but it can result in punishments with the school. Juniors who are caught parking without a pass, or borrowing a pass from a senior, can lose their parking privileges or even face the possibility of an in school suspension.

     Junior Edward Beglaryan explains that for many juniors, driving is their only way to get to school in the mornings. Students who live outside of bus boundaries, or who do not have guardians who are able to transport them in the morning, rely on driving to access their education. 

     Beglaryan, who plays three sports and participates in multiple extracurricular activities, stresses that driving to and from school is his only way to participate in these activities.

     “I am here from 7:30 in the morning until around 6:00 at night every day. The activity bus leaves at 4:30 p.m. and my parents are at work — How am I supposed to get home? What do I do?” Beglaryan says. “I feel like I deserve the right to park. I come to school to learn, I am always at school, I don’t skip classes … why do [seniors] deserve a spot more than I do?” 

     Beglaryan emphasizes that, at the end of the day, all the junior class is trying to do is go to school. They are making an effort to show up, learn, and build a bright future from themselves — regardless of where their car is parked. 

     Principal Brian Bailey stresses that the parking regulations are in place for a reason, and that they need to be respected to ensure the most fair environment for all students. Due to the limited parking available on school campus, excess parking passes are far and few between, leaving some seniors still waiting to receive theirs.