To improve relations with its neighbors and combat its parking shortage, the school will implement new policies for student drivers beginning in the fall of 2019.
Starting next year, the school will strictly enforce its long-standing policy that prohibits students from parking in surrounding neighborhoods, President Rick Commons said. Students who violate this rule will be dismissed that day and receive an unexcused absence.
“Many neighbors don’t like having their quiet streets filled with student cars,” Commons said. “We’ve made a commitment next year to enforce the policy [of not parking on nearby streets] and make it possible for people to get to school while protecting our relationship with our neighbors.”
Though enforcing this policy will increase the number of students applying for parking spaces, the school hopes to reduce the number of cars on campus by encouraging ride-sharing amongst students, Chief Financial Officer David Weil said.
“Incentives have long been offered in an effort to reduce demand, increase student safety and operate more responsibly,” Weil said. “But, those incentives have not been enough. Administration concluded that the right approach to the problem is to come up with more ways to reduce demand for parking rather than invest in increasing the supply of it.”
Accordingly, the school has altered its pricing model for different transit options. Year-long parking passes for single drivers will increase from the current rate of $975 to $1,300 per year. However, those who carpool will pay reduced fees. Rates for students driving one other individual will decrease from $699 to $499. Additionally, drivers who carpool with two or more passengers will park free of charge.
Students will receive passes through a lottery system. The school will give preference to larger carpools and upperclassmen.
Bus rates will also increase from $1,275 to $1,300 in order to compensate for increased expenses from operations and the creation of an additional bus route, Weil said.
Rachel Brown ’20 said that while she understands the school’s motivation for revising its parking policies, the new regulations will likely be inconvenient for many drivers.
“The school should continue to improve its relationship with neighbors because we both affect each others’ lives,” Brown said. “But, I have parked on Halkirk all year and it has cut off substantial drive time. The policy makes a lot of students’ lives more difficult.”