What is Wrong With the Millbrook Parking Lot?


Millbrook students have complaints about the structure and safety of the parking lots. They have criticism about traffic, fees, and organization of the busy lot.

Emsley Jackson, Staff Reporter

  What is going on with the Millbrook parking situation? Students have complaints about safety issues, ridiculous fees, tickets, and low availability for parking. 

  The amount of wrecks in the parking lot, specifically the front junior lot, are high for being only halfway into the school year. Students parking closest to the Dixie Forest entrance of the school, and in a string of parking spots nicknamed “death row”, have experienced continuous problems with crashes and run-ins. This may be because these are mainly junior spots, and those with their licenses never had to take the official road test. With the numerous wrecks, students are not happy with the way that the administration handles these accidents. Senior Meghan Kent relays her experience with the school when she was involved in an accident on campus by saying, “In the morning, when I hit this girl’s car, I went and told an administrator because I was very stressed out about it…  All day I thought they were going to call me down to the office to give my story. Did they? No. So, I had to find out that they went and investigated this via my dad because they never told me anything about it. I did not even get the chance to talk to the girl whose car I hit.” Students feel that the school does not communicate clearly enough when these discrepancies do occur. 

  Other students have complained about the initial fee of 200 dollars just to obtain a parking pass. Parking fees are set by the county and liable to change. Why is the fee so high? It could be due to limited supply and high demand for spots. Senior David Coe states, “I want my money back. 200 dollars for one spot is ridiculous.” Availability is another issue that students have strong opinions about. Filled spots force drivers to park elsewhere, get rides from others, or continue to take other forms of transportation to school. Even though the school year has already started, there is a wait list available for students who missed the cutoff or did not make the cut because all the spots were full. The 2021-2022 school year parking permit form states, “Parking a vehicle on school campus is a privilege, not a right.  Permits may be temporarily suspended or permanently revoked for violation of school rules and policies including tardy policy.” If permits are revoked, the spots go to those on the waiting list. Junior Lucy Worthington added, “I get my license today, but I am going to have to continue to get rides to school. The parking fee is way too high anyways.” The waiting list application form is long and detailed, with spots to include license and vehicle registration, a vehicle description, and even parent contacts. With this process, there is still no guarantee that the applicant will land a spot. Even with revocations and early graduations, the waiting list is long and only those at the top are likely to get a spot. The original application form includes the same information, but students continue to buy spots with no car. This is why there are so many empty spots in the parking lot on any given day. 

  Traffic is another problem that plagues the parking lot, notably during lunches and dismissals. Long lines to get out of the parking lot during lunch periods cause people to rush and speed down the roads to make it back in time. Dismissal time is even worse, with stacks of cars lined up just to get out. All of these student cars, combined with carpoolers and walkers, make a very dangerous and frustrating scene. Sophomore Freddie Jeffries believes that the conditions create a very dangerous situation for both walkers and drivers. He says, “We should put a crosswalk at the Dixie Forest entrance because students cross there all the time. I’ve been almost hit 20 times when exiting the  parking lot trying to cross that street.” The clogged up entryways of the parking lot affect the roads around the school and the people who walk on them. 

  A recent issue that has come to light is students receiving tickets for parking violations and the backwards system employed to notify students about the tickets. The rules and regulations are listed on the parking application, but no cost per offense is listed. Earlier this school year, Junior Marlowe Williams received a parking ticket for backing into her parking spot one day because she had wanted to get out of the parking lot earlier. She asserts, “With parking tickets, there is a complete lack of communication. I had no idea you could not back into your parking spot… They take advantage of your mistake and fine you at least five dollars, no warning or anything. They did not even tell me I had to pay. They left the ticket blank and sent my parents an email with the fine.” The only form of payment the school accepts for these tickets is through the online service OSP, which adds additional fees and taxes to the bill. For example, those with a five dollar parking violation ticket end up spending closer to ten dollars through the payment site. Parking tickets range from five to fifteen dollars based on the offense. 

  The students are fed up and frustrated with these conditions. The parking lot needs to be safer, more organized, and more available to all student drivers of Millbrook.