The price of parking


Esmeralda Flores

The ticket is placed between the windshield and windshield wipers to signal the student they received a parking ticket. The fee starts at $10 then progresses up to $30.

Kennedy Stone, Staff Writer

Last year approximately 800 parking tickets were written, a majority of these because of students did not have their parking tags showing or did not have a parking tag at all. On average, 40 to 60 tickets come in every time a monitoring teacher goes out on patrol.

For a student’s first offense it is $10, $20 for the second and $30 for the rest of the year. Once the year ends the student starts fresh with the fee back to $10 but the fees will build up before then.

“I’ve had ones that have had to pay about $250 in tickets,” finance specialist Sharon Von Hagen said. “out of the three (grades), probably the juniors are the worst.” If a student has unpaid parking ticket fees or any other unpaid fees, a student can still graduate however, they cannot take part in the ceremony with other classmates. If these payments are not met, the staff can establish payment plans with families.

The school’s parking lot this year is filling up and so far about 10 students have paid for parking tickets. The deadline to pay these parking tickets is within 30 days of getting the individual ticket. With that said more parking tickets will start coming in for big and little things, but students will have to start paying the fees for the tickets regardless.

“When I got a parking ticket, it was over a stupid thing,” junior Jack Bender said. “I had a parking pass. I just didn’t have it up.” Any student that is able to drive will have to think about the fees of parking tickets. Considering that parking tickets are a problem for staff and students alike, the rules must be clear with everyone.

Some times people don’t understand why the parking lot is full in the first place. That is because many students park without tags, meaning those with tags are forced to park illegally. Students receive parking tickets from this action.

“That’s the thing that frustrates me,” vice principal Jerry Stratton said. “is when you, the student who has applied, who has done all the right things, who has the tag, comes to school and there is no place to park.” There are also kids who do not use their parking tags when they have them, and that is just as big as a problem.

The staff are always trying to fill the parking lot to capacity, yet some spots in the gravel parking lot are not taken. If one does not have a tag then the only places that one can park legally, are city hall or NW 59th Court.

“I know from last year, it was horrible, because I had to park all the way over by the softball fields,” Bender said. “and now there’s a lot more extra parking spots, but time will tell by the end of this year.”

Different students have different experiences in the parking lot, but they all have to pay for the tickets in the same way.

“It should be ‘first come first serve’, like a normal parking lot would be,” senior Krystal Towne said. The parking lot is not completely like that system, but there are new priorities being set such as the freshmen being unable to get parking tags this year.

Campus monitor Jan Bjurstrom watches over the parking lot and places the tickets on the cars. “They want me to go out and write tickets on vehicles that don’t have their parking tags,” Bjurstrom said. “That either don’t have them up, or don’t have them.” Being the one who has to give out these tickets she has seen the ways students park. Though the most common problem are tags, students still can get tickets in other ways. “They’ll park on the grass, or we’ve had people sometimes in the winter time create a third row,” Bjurstrom said. “So they end up blocking the person that’s in the middle row.”

The staff are working towards regulating the parking lot but kids are still parking illegally.

“I think we regulate the lot in a better way, but are kids receiving more tickets? Yes,” Stratton said.

This problem may never be fully solved, but students can still use tags correctly and only park when they have such tags to make progress.

“Parking has always been a huge issue in Johnston,” Bjurstrom said. “unfortunately Johnston just doesn’t have the space.”