Unassigned Parking Spaces- Popular or Problematic?

DHS makes controversial decision to return first come, first served student parking.


Cael Turnbull

The Dallastown High School parking lot towards the end of the school day.

Taylor Witmer, Reporter

It’s an age old story. The moment one turns 16, they immediately get their permit. Then driver’s license – the holy grail.

For the past two years at Dallastown High School, that meant buying your very own parking spot.

Not this year.

According to Mr. Dyke, Supervisor of Social and Student Services, last year the  numbers of students driving to school “…skyrocketed higher than ever before,”

This August, the Dallastown Administration and School Board made the bold decision to return to first come first serve parking, as it was two years prior.

This decision was controversial, especially to the Class of 2019 who believed they had finally earned their right to closer parking spots.

“I understand why it’s unassigned but I don’t like it because seniority is no longer a thing with parking,” senior Paige Barlow said .

So what prompted this change?

As driver numbers reached record highs, new drivers were purchasing parking spaces far from the building. These parking spots were located in areas such as tennis court hill and by the soccer field.

Technically the school was “out of spots”; however, most days there were numerous spaces left empty due to students not driving to school that day, students who were absent,  and students who left early for dual enrollment, appointments, etc. 

Parking spots were open, yet nobody could use them due to it being “someone else’s space.”

Towards the end of the 2017-2018, administration found many students parking on local neighborhood roads in order to get a closer spot.

According to Dyke, some drivers weren’t “good neighbors” parking in lawns, blocking mailboxes and driveways, and leaving trash on community members’ property.

This also interfered with maintaining the security of vehicles.

A change needed to be made.

After many meetings and discussion, the final decision to revise the parking situation was made by the school board in August.

Although many student drivers were not fond of the change, others such as junior Caroline Wentz enjoyed the return to first come spaces.

“I’m ok that we don’t have assigned parking anymore. I have the chance to get a better spot than I would have if it were assigned.” Wentz said.