Photo by Cayden Gu
Photo by Cayden Gu

Students, staff frustrated by Paly’s parking policy

Students like senior Natalia Cossio are frustrated with traffic in the parking lots and the parking permit system.

Ever since the parking enforcement system was implemented on Sept. 15, students say they have been met with tickets and an unfair appeal policy. Cossio experienced this first hand when she forgot her permit sticker one day.

“I went to the office to get a temporary permit for the day, but the person who issues them wasn’t there, so I had to go to class,” Cossio said. “I got a ticket before the end of first period. It felt like there wasn’t really anything else I could’ve done.”

Cossio said she plans to appeal the ticket but is not sure how much good it will do. She’s not the only one with complaints. Senior Sebastian Bonnard said he’s against the permit system’s implementation.

“I usually don’t drive to school, but now I have to take my brother to school every day for a medical reason,” Bonnard said. “I didn’t have a permit and got ticketed. There was no way to fix that, and the ticket was finalized even though I had no other way of taking my brother to school.”

Bonnard also takes issue with the fact that permits are required at all.

“I’m not sure I’m in favor of requiring students to pay to park at their own school, especially since some students need to drive to school,” Bonnard said. “There are so many vacant spots in the Embarcadero lot every day.”

However, senior class president Mathew Signorello-Katz said parking permits are one of the largest individual sources of revenue for ASB.

Assistant Principal Jerry Berkson said there’s nothing the school can do once a student gets a ticket. Tickets are issued by the Palo Alto police department, and the only involvement the school has in the process is issuing permits.

“(The ticket appeal system) doesn’t work very well,” Berkson said.

Aside from annoyance with the permit policy, the traffic gridlock coming in and out of the parking lots has caused tardies and inconvenienced students, which Cossio said has discouraged her from driving.

“It takes an endless amount of time to get out of the Churchill lot,” Cossio said. “All the turning lanes just take forever. I only drive about once a week because it’s such a pain. Each time I do drive, I’m driving home thinking, ‘I’m never going to do this again because it sucks.’”