Ava Martinez &
Two-hour street parking and special school zones in Pacific Heights force those who drive to the Broadway campus to frequently run out of classrooms and offices muttering the usual, “I need to move my car!”
“I would never remember to move my car every two hours, and as busy as my schedule is some days, I would not have the time to move my car every two hours even if I did remember,” history teacher Michael Stafford said. “I take the bus to school every day, which is more convenient for me, and cheaper as well.”
Two-hour restricted parking has always been a nuisance in Pacific Heights, but due to increased construction, road re-pavement, street cleaning and other restrictions, students and teachers find it almost impossible to get parking in the neighborhood.
Many schools offer parking spaces for faculty and students, however due to lack of space the Broadway campus is unable to offer parking. While the Octavia campus offers limited parking garage space to faculty and students, those who drive to Convent must get parking permits or find street parking. Unlike the newer Octavia campus which was built specifically with a parking garage, the historical Flood Mansion lacks parking space, forcing drivers to find alternatives.
Senior Juliet Charnas says she faces the same issues as Stafford.
“I would definitely drive to school more often if there were better options for parking,” Charnas said. “The main reason I rarely drive to school is the two-hour limit parking limit. I have classes all day, so moving my car isn’t really an option.”
The majority of street parking in Pacific Heights is delegated as two-hour parking except for residents who may purchase a $96 parking permit, creating difficulties for students and faculty.
The two-hour limit is not the only reason why students and teachers say they struggle with parking.
“There is virtually no street parking, so I have to avoid driving if I want to be sure to be on time for class,” senior Katie Carlson said. “Even if I did not have to move my car every two hours, I would still find parking by school incredibly inconvenient.”
Alternative, albeit more convenient, parking options are available for those willing to pay a fee.
While having a parking space is useful, not all can afford to pay a monthly fee that averages $275.
“I recently started renting a parking space in an apartment building on Webster Street, a block away from school,” Student Life assistant Francis Cavalieri said. “It has relieved an enormous amount of stress because last year, I was constantly troubled with parking restrictions, ongoing construction and street cleaning.”
In addition to a lack of street parking, construction in the neighborhood has increased significantly due to money from the Federal Stimulus Package. Several streets are undergoing repaving and other much-needed repairs, causing significant traffic delays during the morning commute and hunt for parking.
Cavalieri said the new schedule this year was a significant part of the reason she chose to rent a space.
“With the schedule changes made this year, I need to be on campus earlier and longer than I did in past years,” Cavalieri said. “It is a relief not to have to worry about finding a spot and moving my car every two hours.”
“Although the garages are a nice option, I cannot afford to rent out a space,” senior Kristy Harty-Connell said. “Sometimes I park in the Marina and take the bus up to school because it is free and has no time limit, but I could not imagine doing that every day.”
Students and faculty who choose to drive to school often pay the price.
“I have received quite a few tickets from parking near school,” Charnas said. “The tickets aren’t cheap, either. I have paid up to $75 for some.”