PV must fix parking problems


David Harnett

PV seniors are allowed to park at PV if they have lottery or it is their assigned quarter. The remaining 2/3 of seniors are left to park elsewhere.

At 2:55 every week day, a long line snakes from the front of the school all the way back to the football field. What seems like hundreds of seniors sit in their cars for up to ten minutes waiting to leave campus at the end of the school day. Yet not even half of the seniors have parking spots in the student lot.

The issue with the parking lot is three-fold, and yes, the students are part of the problem.

There is an insufficient number of parking spots in PV’s student lot.

Last summer, 27 new spots were created in Valley’s parking lot. 20 of these went to faculty and seven went to students. There are currently 90 parking spots in the student lot. This is an issue, as fewer than one-third of students in the senior class can park on campus.

Only seniors are eligible to park in the student lot. In the summer before their senior year, students must indicate which quarter they would prefer for parking. Each student is given their first choice quarter and then some are awarded lottery for up to one additional quarter if there are spots available. Lottery is completely random.

With a school that prides itself on being as innovative as ours, there should be enough parking for all seniors.”

— Lauren Cohen

If one were to take a stroll through the student lot on any given day, upwards of five spots would be open. During first period on one random Tuesday in October, a total of 13 spots were vacant, with the students given those spots either not attending school, getting a ride with someone else, or any other reason. However, no other students are allowed to park in a spot that is not “registered” to them. Even if a senior who has parking one quarter knows he or she will not be at school for a day, a friend is not allowed to park there. Instead, the spot will remain empty while other students have to walk from Stonybrook or farther to get the school when they could have easily parked on campus.

With a school that prides itself on being as innovative as ours, there should be enough parking for all seniors. The parking lot situation does not seem right, especially as many other schools in the area and across the country have enough parking spots for all of their seniors. More than that, all of the seniors at Hills are assigned a parking spot that is theirs for the whole year. Yes, there are fewer students at Hills and there is not necessarily enough space on Pascack Valley’s property to allow this to happen. However, it always seems as if the administration is all about making Valley and Hills equal, yet the parking lots show a discrepancy in this philosophy.

There is little communication and transparency regarding places to park other than at PV.

Many juniors and seniors who have their licenses utilize the parking lot at Stonybrook, which is about a half-mile away. On the first day of school, seniors who did not have parking spots went to Stonybrook like they had last year.

At 8:01, when all of the students were already at school and classes had officially started, the senior class received an email that said there would be no parking at Stonybrook for the remainder of the week as the pool was still open to its members through Labor Day weekend. We were told to move our cars or risk getting a ticket. At lunch, every student who parked there had to move their cars, yet the administration did not suggest any alternate places to park. Most of the streets surrounding the school have two-hour parking so the seniors were worried they would be ticketed regardless of where they parked.

While Stonybrook Swim Club and the town of Hillsdale are very generous in offering their space as an overflow lot for PV students, the town should have the responsibility of transparency. When the lot is closed to students, the Stonybrook director should let the administration and students know at least a day in advance so students can figure out alternate places to park.  

After Labor Day, the week of Sept. 5, the Stonybrook parking lot was once again open to the students. Rules for parking there changed last spring. Now, only the lot immediately off of Cedar Lane is available. Previously, students parked all the way in the back of the lot alongside the lap pool.

Earlier this year, the seniors were told that Stonybrook would be implementing a payment system to use its lot. There has been no more information since then, but it would be helpful to know if this is something that should be expected or something that might happen down the road.

The parking lot is often chaotic.

While the parking lot is narrow, it is the responsibility of the students using it to do so with caution. Students are not careful while they enter and exit the parking lot. They speed through the lot, especially when they return from lunch off campus. Irresponsible driving by students has been the cause of a handful of accidents in the parking lot involving students, and school only began a month ago.

This makes the parking lot very dangerous, as students do not always pay attention to where they are going or look behind them when they are reversing.