New Trier’s parking predicament

New+Trier+Essex+Road+next+to+parking+lot

New Trier Essex Road next to parking lot

Parking at New Trier is scarce and definitionally classist. A vast majority of students and many teachers cannot land a parking spot near New Trier; the parking predicament needs a permanent and urgent fix. 

The root of the issue is the sheer lack of available parking that New Trier has. The majority of parking it has is rightfully given to the teachers that need it, even so leaving some of them without a spot. The limited amount of parking for students is given out in a seemingly fair lottery system. However, this lottery system still demands a 1,576 dollar payment for the year. This effectively cuts out this option for many students because of the steep pricing. 

With the administration’s lottery system against them, local homeowners against them, the police and village against them, the students of New Trier need a solution that the school, town, and community will support. This is a tall order.”

With no desire to relieve the situation, nearby home owners of New Trier had the bright idea of milking this dilemma. They decided to upcharge students who couldn’t land a lottery won spot. Their upcharges pushed the 1,576 dollar price to 2,000 to 5,000 dollars: even further providing spaces for only the most privileged Trevians.

Those that cannot pay those ridiculous prices might try to find a spot on the many nearby side streets. Except, they will come to realize, there are no spots; no spots east, no spots north for 10 blocks until Cherry Street, no spots south for 5 blocks until Oxford Street; and no spots west for 9 blocks until Birch Street.

The police and the village of Winnetka have blocked off parking on both sides of all the streets between 8 -10 am every morning. This a deliberate move to refuse parking to New Trier students. Even further, they ruthlessly enforce it! Police officers on a daily basis hunt for students in the near 10 square block radius of New Trier: specifically only going out after 8, right when Trevians are already in the building. How diabolical. 

With the administration’s lottery system against them, local homeowners against them, the police and village against them, the students of New Trier need a solution that the school, town, and community will support. This is a tall order.

In 1998, action was taken. Dr. Hank Basnager, an ex superintendent of New Trier, understood this issue. His proposals were broad sweeping and were responsible for the minimal parking on Essex Avenue and Trevian Way. However, his ambitious goal of a large student parking lot near the train station was shot down by the village. 

Since then, a large parking lot project has not been close to being constructed. However, we are just starting to miss out on one of the greatest opportunities to fix this situation. 

A whopping 79.5 million has just been dropped to demolish Gates gym and rebuild a new athletic complex. The reconstruction of a massive complex leaves opportunities for an underground parking lot. 

This would definitely be extremely costly, but New Trier has an annual budget of 270 million dollars a year. If they manage and balance the budget they could make it work. The biggest concern that is raised with the proposal is a raise in traffic. To relieve the traffic, an expansion of Essex road in width and shift of the parking lot over would be necessary. In the short term, this will be a nuisance, but in the long run a permanent solution.

No longer should teachers have to compete for spots by arriving at school at unreasonable times. They shouldn’t have to shower and get ready for their day at school because they are concerned about getting a spot. 

No longer should students be forced to pay ridiculous prices controlled by unreasonable admin, tasteless residents, and a careless village. While the situation is not an ideal one, if as students we make it clear that a solution to this predicament is necessary our administration and village will listen.