The New Parking System at Orono High School


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A new Parking Policy at Orono High School has been implemented for the 2022/2023 school year.

After a year full of people stealing parking spots and receiving fines, administration at Orono High School decided to try out a new parking system to solve these problems. A majority of the students prefer the parking policy now compared to what it was before.

The new parking system requires parking permits to be assigned to a lot and students can park anywhere within their assigned lot. Many students were very angry about this new system at first, but surprisingly, there have been no complaints so far this year, according to Tammy O’Connor, who is in charge of the parking system and works in the main office at the high school.

Orono High School students have reported their opinions on the new parking policy compared to the one in the past.

Sophomore Rae Pearce parks in the OK Kids lot and likes the system because there are unofficial spots people park in everyday, which makes it easier and more efficient when parking in the mornings. Along with Pearce, junior Cayden Effertz is all for this new system because it is first come first serve and you can park wherever you want. Both Pearce and Effertz said they like to park by their friends so they can walk into school together.

Most students find it very easy to find spots this year. O’Connor explains this by noting how everyday there are about 100 students gone for various reasons, so there are always open spots. Another reason why it is easy to find spots is students have been staying in their assigned lot, so there have not been people illegally parking.

An added benefit to the new parking system that associate head principal Jeffery Aman highlights is it encourages students to get to school earlier so they can get a good parking spot. This creates better punctuality for students because it makes sure they are not late to class.

Before this change, parking permits were assigned by spots within a lot. The problems associated with this where students would park in other students’ spots, causing a domino effect of many students not having spots.

“[I] often had to find a new spot because the ice arena was full. Then she parked in the Activity Center because there were lots of spots open but got multiple warnings and then a fine for this,” Senior Rachel Mernik, who parked in the ice arena last year, said.

These issues made things very difficult for O’Connor because she said she would have to track down students and have cars be moved. It was a constant, all-day dilemma.

Due to these problems, O’Connor presented her idea of a new parking system to Aman.

“It is way more efficient to have students park at a first-come first-serve [basis],” OHS Associate Principal Mr. Aman said.

Orono High School’s new parking system is similar to Benilde St. Margaret’s, as they have students park anywhere in a neighboring Synagogue’s parking lot, according to Benilde St. Margaret’s website. Wayzata High School’s website shows their parking system is also similar because they have two parking lots (zones) available for students to park anywhere in.

The new parking policy at Orono High School is overall much more efficient for students when finding a spot to park in. This makes it easy on staff because they no longer have to deal with the problems, they had last year.

Aman notes that he thinks they will continue using this system in the future because of all of the success it has had so far this year.