Parking Woes at Prior Lake

Alec Jaspersen, Contributor

With the start of the new semester at Prior Lake High School, even more students are hopping into their cars and driving to school, but several of them won’t be able to find a parking spot.

Parking has been a problem at Prior Lake for the last two years, and it only gets worse from here with the growing freshman and sophomore classes. Many students are desperate for a solution to this problem.

“It can be a nightmare sometimes,” says Luke Neiman, a senior at Prior Lake. “If you’re even just a little late, you’ll have to go all the way to the back of the lot, and that sucks in the winter.”

Another recurring issue with parking is parking passes, prices for which have been going up over the last few years. The price for a full year pass went from $150 to $200 for the 2016-2017 school year. School faculty claims that it is to compensate for the larger freshman and sophomore classes, but students see it differently.

“I think they raised the prices to pay for more new stuff, like iPads and Macs,” Neiman said, “either that or it’s maintenance costs.”

There was a referendum last year to add more parking spots to the school, along with other needed classroom space, but the referendum was shot down.

“If the referendum was only on the parking lot and nothing else, I think it would’ve passed,” Neiman said. “Parking is a problem everyone wants to fix here.”

One way some students get around paying the high cost of passes is to park in the neighborhood streets near the school. While the students don’t break any laws by parking there, residents have concerns over student vehicles blocking traffic. The city of Savage made it illegal to park on one side of the streets during school hours.

With winter here and no real solution to parking in sight, it’s going to be another tight squeeze in the PLHS parking lot this year and into the foreseeable future. Although there may be no solution this year for the seniors, there are plans in the works to relieve the pressure from the parking lot, however, only time will be able to tell when those plans come into effect.