Timpview needs to back it up


Jon Kwong

Jessica Hawkins (center) grieves over the mess that her peers, Anna (right) and Kevin (left), have created.

Timpview, we’ve got a parking problem. Ever since the school was built in 1977, it’s been apparent that parking is and will be a continuing problem. So why does our parking suck? Who or what is responsible?
Before we dive right into it, let’s have a little meet and greet with the problem itself. In talking about the parking lot, junior Christopher Johnson says, “It is very busy and if you come close to when the bell rings, it’s gonna be hard to find a spot.” Senior Grace Perry adds, “I get here really early, so I can find a good spot. [Since] I use the big parking lot, I have to leave my house like ten minutes earlier to find a spot.” To sum it up, perhaps senior Tommy Rosenvall says it best, “It’s awful, it’s absolutely terrible.”
And they’re not wrong. Currently, with 1070 upperclassmen and only 487 actual designated student parking spaces (yes, we actually counted all of them), there’s simply not enough designated parking. And when you consider the fact that Timpview was built to last fifty years, the shortage of spots is puzzling. But that’s not all. Factor in the tightness of the parking lot plus the craziness of upperclassmen (and occasional sophomore) finding and getting out of a spot for the beginning and end of class or lunch, and I think we can all agree that Timpview’s parking lot is, at times, a living hell.
So what do some people do to avoid that giant mess? They park in other places that have, over time, become the norm\; the street parking on Timpview Drive for example, or the tennis court parking lot. “I usually park out [front], like where it swings in,” says Johnson. “It’s less busy down there.”
So we know we can blame the shortage of parking spaces on Timpview’s miscalculation of upperclassmen for a horrible parking experience, but is there something else that should take some blame? Or should I say, someone? New drivers, I’m looking at you.
Increasing class sizes at Timpview means more inexperienced drivers on the roads and parking lots. The Juniors lead the pack with 600 students, but the rest (excluding the seniors) are not far behind. With their shiny new licenses, a lot of them feel the immediate need to drive to school for no good reason other than it’s more convenient. But the decisions that they make are often times questionable, and that shows. Rosenvall cites inexperience: “They’re just inexperienced. I mean granted, I’ve only got you know, an extra year, but I mean, sophomore year… I saw two accidents happen within 30 minutes from each other. And it was just stupid things like not looking before you back out, you know, just not paying attention, being on your phone, stuff like that. So, I mean, it’s just inexperience.” And by no means am I drawing the conclusion that all new drivers are bad drivers. Some know what they’re doing and that’s great (by all means, use the parking lot), but the rest don’t, which is why you need some experience. So new drivers, please do everyone else a favor and don’t use the parking lot when you barely know how to park. Go drive around and gain that experience. Then, when you’re confident in your driving abilities, use it. That way, when the next school season rolls around, the parking lot will be a bit more zen. The level of chaos will go down because people will know what they’re doing.
So besides new drivers getting some experience, what are some other ways to improve Timpview parking? Make sure people are actually paying for their spot? Reserve a certain amount of spots for the Seniors and then give the rest to the Juniors? Leave your ideas in the comments. But for now, it seems, the most plausible way forward is a new school. By rebuilding the school, you’re not only guaranteeing more parking, but a safer school, effectively killing two birds with one stone. So let’s hope that when Timpview is rebuilt, that they seriously consider the growing student population and give us a bigger parking lot. But I guess until then, we’ll have to settle for the same thing that we’ve been settling for for the last four decades: chaos and street parking. And when you add those two things together, what do you get? A parking lot that sucks.