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Letter to the Editor: The Parking Problem

By Dustin Michels in Opinion & Politics

Last month’s Royal Banner allocated a page to discussion of the “the parking problem.” It suggested that a shortage of parking spaces is inconveniencing students and I certainly agree. Arriving for second period, I often watch displaced seniors reluctantly combat audacious lesser-classmen for parking spots along the Gillespie’s 2-hour parking area. (The judicious ones will soon relocate their vehicles; the intrepid will remain, at risk of ticket-ation.) Without a doubt, parking is a struggle for many students. The part of the article that troubled me was Principal Stensrud’s statement that Fairview may change the parking on the street from parallel to diagonal, creating 150 additional parking spots.

As CO2 emissions drive global temperatures upward, our climate becomes increasingly dangerous and unpredictable. Thirty percent of US global warming emissions come from transportation. In light of these facts, it is my belief that reducing cars, not increasing parking, is the only rational solution to “the parking problem.” While adding spots addresses the immediate problem, it augments the larger issue of climate change. Instead, let’s limit the number of parking spaces and force ourselves to seek more meaningful solutions.

Let’s incentivize alternative transpiration, perhaps by adopting the Trip Tracker program in place at Boulder High and New Vista, which awards students dollar credits for walking, biking, busing or carpooling to school. Let’s build a more user-friendly RTD stop, as Stensrud also suggested in the article. Let’s improve infrastructure for walking and biking to school and create resources for students to discover all the biking, busing, and carpooling options available to them.

Perhaps Fairview could award PE credit to students that walk or bike to school. Better yet, perhaps Fairview could design a PE class modeled after Community Cycles’ Earn-a-Bike Program, wherein students would build a bike from recycled parts and learn the art of bicycle maintenance in the process!

I understand that some students have no reasonable alternative to driving…but many do. Before we add more parking, let’s try empowering them to pursue alternative transit, thereby resolving our parking problem while simultaneouslyaddressing the climate crises. No matter what solutions we chose, let’s be creative, thoughtful, and bold as we work to address “the parking problem” in a truly meaningful way. To frame my sentiments another way:

Adding spots is no solution,

Let’s roll to the rhythm of the ecolution!

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