Parking remains an expensive ordeal

Prime driveway spots sell for up to $300 a month

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Despite efforts by the school to provide parking, along with the private market for spots in nearby residential driveways, parking at NT remains costly and hectic for students.

Each semester, the school rents out approximately 150 spots to some of the almost 1,000 eligible seniors, leaving many students scrambling to find parking. Located at Elder Beach and the Green Bay Metra parking lot, students are charged $630 each semester. Students are given priority depending on the proximity to their school; those living over a mile and a half away are given spots over those living closer.

During second semester, parking spots are rented out a second time, with seniors who didn’t receive a spot first semester getting priority over those who did.

Though students can park through New Trier parking, there are approximately 3,000 students who need some way to get to school.

Even with carpooling, this leaves the other 2,800 students without a place to park if they’re driving to school.

That’s where driveways come in handy. Residents near the school rent out their driveway, selling them on a semester or yearly basis.

In fact, parking spots can cost upwards of $3,000 for the year, with costs varying based on how close the house is to the school as well as the renter.

“I pay a couple grand for the entire year and I park in Kenilworth,” said junior Zoe Ray.

Junior Janey Matejka said “My friend drives me and parks on Fuller. It’s a ten minute walk, and it’s not cheap.”

The most popular spots are in the driveways of the houses surrounding the school.

One family, who prefers to remain anonymous, has been renting their driveway across from the school for nearly ten years. It is arguably one of the best spots to have, based on their proximity to school.

Prior to moving in, this resident had no idea about the NT parking situation and only found out from people asking.

“We would get notes in our mailbox, and then our neighbors’ friend was actually the [first] one to approach us about parking,” said the resident.

Being charged for parking, especially at this price, is not the norm for most schools. “Most schools have free parking for upperclassmen,” said senior Sam Wert.

Over time, the prices and the market have changed. Renters must adapt their prices to these changes. “We’ve increased it one time in ten years just to keep it in line with what everybody else was doing,” added the anonymous family.

In the ten years the anonymous resident has been renting out their driveway, they have changed the price from $200 per month to $300, totaling about $2,700 per year, which is a price not unusual for the proximity of the spot to the school.

Paying thousands of dollars for a parking spot may seem ridiculous, but to students, it’s the norm.

“I never get questioned on the price because I think [students] see the value in it and share it with their friends and teammates,” said the renter.

Junior Avery Hirschfield said, “It may be a little overpriced considering we are students, but it’s also inconvenient for the people that live there.”

These prices often go unquestioned because of how desperate people are to get a spot. This driveway in particular is in high demand, as the renter explained, “Normally people approach me too late. We’re booked a year out. We literally have a list for the next two years.”

Parents can go to extremes to get a spot. “There was one guy last year who offered to buy out the entire driveway for his daughter to park there,” said the renter.

For context, there are 11 spots in the driveway, bringing the total price of the driveway to about $30,000.

Students can be just as desperate as their parents.

“We get resumes in our mailbox— ‘I’m a 4.0 student, my parents are divorced, I take early bird.’ It’s interesting, I give these kids a lot of credit,” said the renter.

In terms of pricing, this renter feels that the high prices are generally justified: “It really comes down to demand and people are wanting to do whatever it takes to get parking. The parents and kids love it.”

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