Parking issues infuriate students


Photo by Victoria Kirova

Students and parents endure long wait times in traffic while coming and going from the OHS campus.

Abby Mills, Design Chief

Student parking is an integral part of the school. It is in the parking lot where students gain real driving experience with little experience behind the wheel. The parking lots slowly help them prepare for the increasingly difficult demands of adulthood. However, throughout the 2022-2023 school year there have been an uptick of complaints regarding OHS parking.

With around 1200 juniors and seniors at O’Connor and only 647 parking spots, the school must solve an impossible puzzle: pick and choose who gets what spot. Students who send in their current insurance, current registration, and drivers license in the spring will get a spot for next year. With a constantly growing population, and heavy demand and little supply of school parking, the issue will get worse. 

“As long as we keep taking more students here, as long as there continues to be a growth in population in this area, and  as long as we continue to build residential neighborhoods in the adjoining areas, it’s going to perpetuate the problem. It’s life in the big city and we have to evolve and adapt,” said Bradley Garraway, head of security. 

Students have little practice behind the wheel, and have never driven in a sea of hundreds of cars before. This lack of experience leads to irritation. 

“It’s so bad all they do is honk at each other; they don’t actually drive. It’s so loud. People are dumb,” said Abigail Eschete, junior. 

With difficulty parking in their spots and trying to leave campus, students ponder whether or not their parking spot is actually worth it. 

“I don’t have to deal with Hackamore but no because I sit there for 30 minutes in a hot car, waiting for people to go and they don’t,” Eschete said. 

This year instead of a junior and a senior lot, there is just a main lot and the Hackamore lot. This has angered seniors who were placed in the Hackamore lot because they wanted to be closer in proximity to campus.  

“This is my last year here,” said Anisha Tanikella, senior. “So I feel like I should have gotten a better spot.”

Some seniors who are forced to park in the Hackamore lot feel they deserve a closer spot because of seniority. 

“I think seniors should have spots that are closer because juniors have that chance next year,” said Tanikella. 

The school has noticed the parking problems and is working tirelessly to subside the issues for future OHS generations.  

“We are in essentially talks or negotiations with our district; with the city of Phoenix traffic addition,” Garraway said. “To try and remedy and rectify the issues we have here.”

This year, parking has been uniquely troublesome with a giant pool of applicants clawing to get a spot. Unlike prior years, parking spots were immediately sold out before the school year even started.  

“I can’t see the future. I can’t put my finger on the pulse to see how many applicants we are going to get. I had no idea and was shocked that we had so many applicants. We have over 200 kids on a waiting list right now. I, in my 10 years of working here, have never been sold out of parking the prior school year,” Garraway said. 

Despite the high demand for parking changes, school faculty cannot promise any changes in the near future.

“Is there anything that we can do immediately to alleviate some of the traffic issues that we have? There isn’t. We have 2600 kids at this school. We have what I consider infrastructure issues. I don’t have the power and the wherewithal to wave my magic wand and make the traffic go away,” Garraway said.