Parking lots shrink as snow piles up


Thomas Kovarik

PARKING PROBLEMS. Snow build-up, cold temperatures, and newly licensed drivers have been making parking in the SPA lots much more challenging. As the lengthy Minnesota winter carries on and most students are arriving to school in a car, it’s likely that these difficulties will remain prominent.

It’s time to face the music: SPA’s parking lots cannot handle this many cars. Many students and faculty have realized that in the past couple of weeks, parking has been a much more difficult task. All the parking lots have been jam-packed in the morning, and for the rest of the day. This is something that everyone at the Huss side of the school has to deal with. Whether it’s dropping off students in the drive-up line, biking through and around the traffic, or just trying to get to a parking spot, many people are apprehensive about having to make their way onto the school property at and around 7:50-8 a.m. every morning.

One student driver, sophomore Robert Peres, who obtained a license in Dec. 2022 said, “Arriving even as early as 7:55 am, you get there and there’s not a single spot available and you have to park two blocks away.”

Senior Calvin He said, “Sometimes stuff like this happens as often as once a week.”

This issue could possibly be due to more and more sophomore students getting their licenses, but it is odd that so many new drivers would have gotten their licenses within the past couple of weeks. The SPA parking lot has 222 parking spots and each and every one of them is taken during the school day.
Director of Security and Operations John Cole shared some insight into what might be going on here. Cole said that as the weather gets colder, fewer people are walking or biking to school. Some middle school faculty who usually park further down Davern Street aren’t willing to walk as far in the icy conditions and park closer.

Arriving even as early as 7:55 am, you get there and there’s not a single spot available and you have to park two blocks away.

— Robert Peres

Cole mentioned that after time off from school such as winter break and long weekends, SPA will see a rapid increase in new drivers, thus creating more parking issues. Additionally, he mentioned the great amounts of snow the Twin Cities have been getting this year, and how it factors in for parking throughout the day. “As of [early February], we’ve had 50.2 inches of snow,” Cole said, “which is our fourth heaviest snowfall year on record to this date.”

The plows take time, which results in poor road conditions. In some cases, the plows will block parking spots with snow mounds.

What one might do is leave earlier and give more time in the mornings for the commute to school. Leaving for an appointment may also be difficult as the parking lots are hard to navigate.

For the time being, students and faculty most likely won’t see any major improvements to the situation in the parking lot. Though as the snow starts melting and the seniors go off for senior projects, parking will be less of a headache.