Redwood High School Student Parking
Frequently Asked Questions
What student parking changes were implemented during the 2018-19 school year?
- Number of permits = number of spaces + Fill-Ins
- Assigned Spaces
- Only those outside 20-minute walking radius may request permits
- Spaces assigned by:
- Lottery (seniors)
- Lottery (juniors)
- a limited number of students with no first period will receive “Fill-in” permits
- Students can request front or back lot
- No cars leave at lunch
Q. - Why limit the number of parking spaces?
- A - With our increasing enrollment, continuing to issue permits to all students who can drive may be increasing the number of cars being driven to school and attempting to park on campus. In an effort to reduce the number of students driving single-occupancy vehicles to school we are limiting the number of students allowed to park on campus.
Q. - Why assign parking spaces instead of letting permitted students park where they want?
- A. - We and many high schools have found it very difficult to monitor and enforce permitted parking without assigning spaces to individual drivers. Students are less likely to park without a permit if they are parking in a spot reserved for a specific student.
Q. - Why limit permits to students who live outside a 20-minute walking radius of RHS?
- A. - One of our main goals is to reduce the number of students driving to school. Those who live within a 20-minute radius of RHS can reasonably walk or bike to school. While sometimes a challenge, we appreciate all of our students who walk, bike, bus or carpool to school to help us manage the parking and traffic challenges in our community and model treading lightly on our environment.
Q. - Why give top permit priority to students who carpool?
- A. - Other than encouraging students to leave cars at home and walk, bike or bus to school, the next most important change we need to see is the reduction of single-occupancy vehicles driving to and parking at RHS. Giving top priority to carpools is consistent with the goal of reducing single-occupancy vehicles and encouraging those that drive to drive others.
Q. - Why use a lottery system to determine who gets parking permits?
- A. - After much input from students, a lottery was determined to be fairer than a distance-based system initially considered. We also looked closely at a “needs-based” system taking into account student schedules (late starts, early dismissals, after-school commitments, etc.) and other factors but did not see a way to accomplish such prioritization without significant subjectivity and/or unavailable clerical/administrative time. We will continue to examine this approach as we move forward to see if we need such a system and, if so, how to effectively manage such a system.
Q. - Why give seniors priority for parking permits.
- A. - Many students requested seniors to have priority and we are in agreement that this will give the most students the greatest chance to have a parking permit at some point during high school. Additionally, it means that, in general, the most experienced drivers will be driving in the parking lot, improving safety.
Q. - Won’t assigned spaces go unused when drivers are absent?
- A - After much concern about unused spaces was shared in the survey, we are trying to minimize empty spaces during the school day by allowing a small number of “Fill-In” permits. These permits will be given to students who did not receive a permit during the lottery, do not have a 1st-period class and agree to not park until 8:30 am. These “Fill-In” parkers should fill in the spaces of absent students maximizing the use of all student spaces.
Q. - Why won’t cars be allowed to leave campus during lunch?
- A - This is not a parking issue but it is a very serious safety issue. There is not enough time to leave campus in cars, travel to a lunch location, pick up and eat food and return to campus and class on time without driving more quickly than is safe. We have observed this, our local police have observed this and many in our community have observed this. We all know it is just a matter of time before a serious accident occurs and I, as principal and the person in charge of student safety of all Redwood students, cannot wait until that serious accident occurs to implement a safer policy. The time to change this policy is before a serious accident occurs, not after. I know this is not an easy change for students but I cannot, in good conscience, leave the high probability of someone being seriously injured or killed because students want to drive off campus at lunch. I understand the desire to get off-campus in a car, but that desire does not outweigh the safety of other students and others in our community.