The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

What’s New at TC: Paying to Park

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The parking garage located across from the main entrance at T.C.

By Caroline Fox

As one of the largest high schools in Virginia on the smallest area of land, parking at TC Williams has never been ideal. The two main parking areas available next to the school are the two-level garage by the front doors and the Chinquapin Circle at the back end of the school. For a school with a student body that just reached 4,000, this is not nearly enough space to accommodate faculty and students who drive to school every day.

While the Chinquapin Circle holds the majority of parking spots for those driving to TC, the space belongs to the City of Alexandria, not the school. Beginning this year, staff and students who want to park in the Chinquapin Circle will have to purchase a parking permit from the Chinquapin Rec Center for $120. The City plans to sell enough passes for a maximum of 160 vehicles. Beginning on September 18, 2017, vehicles parked in the Chinquapin Circle without a permit will be ticketed and/or towed. Permits must be used to park in the Circle on weekdays September-June from 6:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

For students who are quick enough to buy one of 40 available parking passes for the TC garage, the walk into school will be shorter and cheaper. Parking passes for the school garage are $80 for the year. According to the TC administration, students who park in the garage without a pass will be fined.

Many TC students are upset about the changes in the parking system. For students who live too close to TC to pick up a school bus but too far to walk every morning, one of the most convenient options is to drive themselves. As of this year, that means paying for their parking spaces.

Some students do not think a parking pass is worth the money. Senior Christina Clarke said, “No, it’s not worth it. Especially since it’s my senior year, I feel like I have so many other expenses to take care of–senior pictures, class rings, etc. It’s a total inconvenience to pay that much just to park and get to class.”

Last year, many students who had to park in the Chinquapin Circle got fined by the Alexandria Police for parking illegally. If there were no legal parking spots left in the circle by the time a student got to school, the only option was to park illegally. Some students even parked on residential side streets behind the Chinquapin property to avoid getting ticketed. This year, students and their families will have to spend money on a designated spot in order not to worry about getting fined. Whether it comes from issuing parking tickets or selling parking passes, the City of Alexandria has profited from the parking situation at TC.

As a school with a large population of both students and faculty that grows substantially every year, the available parking space is a troubling issue. There is no space left on the TC Williams property to build another parking lot. Although it might pale in comparison to other logistical issues, the future of parking at TC is not something that can be dismissed.

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What’s New at TC: Paying to Park