Commuter lot at Indian Hill train station. Parking here is for commuters only and is cheaper than New Trier’s.

Seniors had the option to apply for convenient parking spots this semester, but the limited spaces and the lottery system caused frustration for many students.

According to Dale Cohodes, the Administrative Assistant to the Assistant Principal for Student Services, “There are 135 parking spots available at the Metra train station and Elder beach parking lot.” Considering that there are roughly 1000 students in the senior class, the odds of receiving a spot were slim.

Cohodes said, “To get a spot, students have to fill out an application which will then allow their name to be entered into a lottery for the parking spaces.” To some students, this system is fair and reasonable, while others believe that the lottery system is not the most effective way to decide who gets a parking spot.

Senior Meg Wozniak said, “I don’t think that a lottery is the fairest way to receive spots. I think that students who live the furthest away from campus should have first dibs on them.” On the other hand, seniors Katie Huber and Quinn Ricketts, who were some of the luckier students to be given a spot, said that the lottery is the fairest way to determine it.

Although the students who have parking spots now appreciate the lottery system, Cohodes mentioned that, “The kids who have spots for the first half of the year are not guaranteed to keep their space for both semesters. Each semester is a separate process.”

The lottery, though, is not completely random. Administrators do take the location of where students live into consideration. The application stated that, “Students who live less than one and a half miles from campus may apply for a parking permit, but these students will be considered only after spaces have been allocated to applicants outside of the one and a half mile radius.”

Caroline Rooney was also frustrated with the limited parking, and she thinks that there are better ways to determine who receives spots. She said, “I think that if the school were to do the application process with an interview, it would be more effective. This could work well because if the administration met with the applicants face to face, they would be able to judge how worthy students are of receiving a spot.”

For some students, the limitations with parking were not a concern, but they did still have opinions on the lottery system. Some seniors do walk to school as well as get dropped of by their family. Pearson Probst said, “I am dropped off every day a few blocks from school, by friends of family. However, I do think that a lottery is the fairest way to determine spots.”

As convenient as the spots are, students pay 500 dollars a semester just to park close to school. For Huber, this is not a problem. She said, “I like having the private parking spot because it’s closer and I don’t have to worry about getting a spot everyday.”

Due to the limited parking, students do seek out parking opportunities in resident’s driveways. Senior Caroline Drake said, “I don’t have a parking spot at the school, but I do park in someone’s driveway about a block from the school. I think it’s annoying that there isn’t enough space because there are so many kids at Winnetka and no space to park, and not as many [students] at Northfield and a ton of places to park.”

Drake did reveal some truth in the matter of parking. The freshman campus has two large lots, while the Winnetka campus only has a small amount of spaces on Essex road. Although the surplus of spaces on the freshman campus may look at positive, students cannot drive yet, and the spaces go to waste. As convenient as the Essex road spots are, they are given to faculty members only.

Wozniak recognized the frustration because of the small amount of spaces, but she said, “There is not really an easy way around the amount of spots the school can offer.”