It is Dec. 17. The weather is frigid, and the sun has not risen yet. You are running late because of the icy roads, and you are just trying to get to school safely. Finally, you get to the school parking lot and see a white blanket of snow and ice covering the entire lot. You cannot find your parking spot and have to rely on those around you to even find where your spot is.
Every single winter this is a problem that students at South Lyon High School have to endure. The parking lots are rarely plowed before school starts, causing students to park in random spots, not even parking within the lines of their spots and even making it unsafe to walk into the building because of the ice. It is understandable that sometimes there is snow that falls after the plowing may occur, but the main complaint among students is that there is snow that was obviously there beforehand that could have been removed but was not.
To park in the student lot, each student has to pay $45 dollars for a full year and $25 dollars for a semester. This is a large sum, especially for students who have to pay this money out of their own pockets. But what does this money actually go towards if not taking care of the actual parking lot? According to ProMatcher, “On average, the cost of commercial parking lot plowing is $138.75 per hour (low = $40.00 and high = $237.50).” It would take three students’ payments to pay for one hour of plowing, and our parking lot is not that big, so it can and should be done.
Students each get an assigned number that is our designated parking spot, and if they are not parked in that specific space they can get talked to by our parking lot attendant and given a warning. If these problems continue you might lose your privilege to a spot at the school. Yet how are we supposed to park in the right space if we cannot even see the number? On many occasions, I have had to park in a random area I felt my space was close to, get out of my car and use either my foot or my ice scraper to move the snow myself in order to find at least the number that can help navigate as to where I am supposed to park. For paying $50 for a single parking space, this is not something that I, nor any student should have to do.
Parking lot attendant Mr. Ray Besio described the snow and the parking lot as, “erratic at best.” He went on to say, “We lose six to eight spaces with heavy snowfall, and the snow stays like that for a couple of days.” Students need to be able to have the ability to park in their spaces, not only because they pay for it but in order to be able to park in a spot that is safe for students to get into the school. Senior Tejon Garett said, “It’s frustrating. Where does the $45 go if it’s not to keep up on the parking lot maintenance?”
Another problem with not plowing the parking lot is the way that the students and parents choose to drive in the small area. “We have speeders. That includes parents as well,” Besio said. If we combine students and parents not paying attention, speeding, and ice, it is a recipe for disaster, and it is one that can be easily avoided if we had parking lots plowed. Until then, students and parents need to drive safely and find the best plan of action when either they are not able to find their spot or their spot is taken.
The parking lot’s overaccumulation of snow, the lack of maintenance, and the chaotic morning drives, is a large issue at the school that many students agree needs to be fixed for not only the convenience but the safety factors of the students and parents. We all need to stay safe out there in the dangerous roads we call the school parking lot.
Photo by Kendyle Laesch