LHS’ parking problem


Clare Heupel

A high school parking lot filled to its capacity with cars is a nightmare for anyone who tries to navigate it.

Clare Heupel, Perspectives Editor

Recently Keloland broadcasted a story that provides details on the school district’s parking availability for high schools this year and the data affirms the struggles that most LHS students deal with daily.

According to the South Dakota Department of Education, in fall of 2021 there were a total of 7,200 high school students in the Sioux Falls School District. Carly Uthe, a member of the school district’s community relations, stated that the combined total of parking spots between the district’s four public schools is 3,620 spots. 

Ideally, these spots would be evenly distributed between the four schools but unfortunately, that is not the case. JHS’ parking lot has 1,048 spaces and WHS’ has 922. Both schools have enough spaces to allow all students and staff to have a parking pass if they want one. Though RHS has had trouble with parking in the past when the school was home to the largest student population, this problem has been lightened by the addition of JHS. Even with a large student population, RHS still has a total of 921 parking spots, including leased space at Kuehn Park. RHS delegates parking passes by grade, with seniors receiving them first, followed by juniors, sophomores and then freshmen.

Looking at the spots for each of these three schools, the total of 3,620 parking spots within the district seems like it could not possibly include a fourth school. Unfortunately, the final 729 spots left belong to LHS. With such a small amount of parking space availability, parking passes at LHS are given to students through the same system as RHS, only freshmen are not allowed any. This may seem like a fair way to distribute these passes, however, this system has been flawed in the past. LHS students can attest to the fact that more parking passes have been given out than the amount of spots available for parking. This can create an added stress for the already overwhelming schedule of high schoolers, who have to be at school far earlier than one would think to avoid anxious scrambling for the few spots that are left. 

Thankfully, this year’s sophomores have been given passes that only allow them to park in the Arcadia lot, which should lighten the availability issue. There is always the possibility to carpool as well, but even that is not an easy solution. With most students participating in one or more extracurricular activities, it can be hard to figure out a carpool schedule. Parking on the street is not always a reliable option either, especially when there are police officers around the school every day who are not afraid to give tickets.

There is not an easy way to eliminate LHS’ parking issue, but that doesn’t erase the fact that it adds unfair stress to students’ plates.