Parking tags now available to sophomores

Even+though+students+complain+about+the+parking+lots+being+over-sold%2C+over+a+hundred+spots+sit+empty+everyday.+Photo+by+Maribeth+Eiken

Even though students complain about the parking lots being over-sold, over a hundred spots sit empty everyday. Photo by Maribeth Eiken

Brittany Cornelison

Starting at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29, parking tag sales will commence for students who are wishing to park on school grounds, specifically sophomores who are parking on “sophomore alley.” There will be a $15 charge for these tags and they will be noticeably different from general parking tags.
Students possessing these tags will only be able to park in the farthest parking lot, located North of the baseball fields. RBHS Parking Attendant Darryl Heaton said this decision to sell more tags was made on the basis that there were excess spots in this lot that were not being made use of.
“There’s over 100 available parking spots in the northwest parking behind the ball field and so, being sophomores aren’t allowed to park on the school grounds at all, they’re going to open that up to sophomores and also to juniors and seniors who want to park back there only for $15 for the rest of the year and they’ll have a special parking tag that will be distinguished between the others that can park anywhere but the faculty,” Heaton said. “And so this is basically being done to take cars off what they call sophomore alley if they don’t want to continue to park back there, but we have plenty of available parking spots on grounds, they’re just off a little further.”

The new parking tags will differ greatly from the general parking tags. Photo by Mikaela Acton.
The new parking tags will differ greatly from the general parking tags. Photo by Mikaela Acton

This parking tag sale is not only open to sophomores, upperclassmen can also purchase these tags as a cheaper option to the now $25 regular tags, said Assistant Principal Brian Guab, who believes that by selling these tags RBHS will be making use of an “underutilized resource.”
There will be a total of 100 of these specialized tags sold, beginning on Jan. 29 and continuing until they sell out. However, once the 100 are sold, the number of students who have the capability of parking in the lot will exceed the capacity of parking spots in the lot.
“We do know how many have been sold, how many are used, bought by students … numbers that were sold were about 680 and I’ve been told that there’s about 750 student spots … [the back lot] seemed to have about 150-160 spots total,” Guab said. “We have a cite plan that has a pretty good idea, but even the cite plan, if you go down the south lot, the cite plan doesn’t show parking spots around the perimeter, but people park there.”
There is a rough estimate of the number of parking spots available to students, but Guab believes there will be enough spots for all students who purchase tags. There are roughly 750 parking spots available, 680 parking passes sold at the beginning of the year and 100 new passes being sold, totaling 780 total tags sold.
“Not everyone drives every day, comes to school every day, it should work out … I kind of wanted to set a date so people knew about it because it’s a new thing, that way, hopefully … that people have a chance to [purchase],” Guab said. “It shouldn’t cause a problem, but again it’s a little bit of guess work.”
Heaton also said he believes that the extra students will not affect the amount of traffic that amounts after school.
“It’s identifiable, we’ll be able to check every day if they are because the tags will be distinctly different,” Heaton said. “If  anything it might alleviate a little of the congestion, being that they’re parked a little further away, it’ll give these cars an opportunity to get out first. Congestion is going to be bad no matter what with this access road at the end of the day.”
Both Heaton and Guab believe that selling these extra tags will be a good way to utilize the space that has been ignored. This is a new concept for RBHS, for underclassmen to have the opportunity to park on school grounds.
“We capped it at 100 … it’d been talked about for months … Dr. Mast and a lot of people have a lot more history on it than I do, but in the last few days, we decided that on any given day there’s about 100 empty spots and so that’s how many we wanted to sell or else somebody who’s having to park there could end up without a spot to park,” Guab said. “It’s a different tag, different size and shape so it should, it’s a new thing.”
By Brittany Cornelison
Additional reporting by Brayden Parker and Kelsey Harper
What are your thoughts on sophomores now having the opportunity to park on school grounds? How do you think this will affect students who already possessed parking tags?