Geneva parking lot needs a back-up plan

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Photo by Dhanveer Gill

The Geneva lot, covered in leaves, last week. Several of these cars have been parked for weeks on end.

By Dhanveer Gill, Reporter

It is 7:45 a.m. on a cold December morning. It is hard to see, and you shiver as you turn the heat up in your car. You are an upperclassman, and you need to park.

As you pull into the Geneva lot, you see dozens of vehicles that are parked unevenly on both sides. Students walk down the middle of the road because the lot is so narrow that there is no other option. Parallel parked cars are essentially bumper-to-bumper. The road has very large cracks everywhere. Leaves cover the windshields of every car.

This GMC has not been moved in months and continues to take up valuable parking space. (Photo by Dhanveer Gill)

There are a limited number of options to choose from when it comes to parking in the morning. There are the Entrance B and H lots, which are close to the school, but are restricted to visitors and staff only. Parking on the street across from Entrance B is also a possibility, however, these spaces are rarely open after zero-hour, and only about a dozen cars can fit on the street (if that).

Kerr McGee lot is the next best place, however, it is far away from Entrance B, and most people do not want to freeze attempting to walk four blocks to school. Students are also constantly drifting or doing donuts on the south side of the lot in both the mornings and the afternoons.

Faded parking lines and excessive leaves in the Geneva lot make parking in low visibility extremely difficult. (Photo by Dhanveer Gill)

The Geneva parking lot has no shortage when it comes to issues. For starters, the lot itself is too narrow, and it is difficult for traffic (especially when it is flowing both ways) to effectively navigate. Additionally, the parking spaces themselves seem to be non-existent. The lines are completely faded, to the point where students park anywhere they please, meaning either the spaces in between vehicles are too large or there is barely enough room for a door to open. These faded lines hurt the parallel park spaces on the right-hand side the greatest, as it is difficult to park a car without guidance, especially with the lack of light and visibility in this lot during the winter months.

“If someone is parallel parked behind you it can be a little hard to pull out sometimes (I drive the minivan so it might just be I have a big car). My biggest complaint really would just be about how small it is,” said junior Chase Pechman, who regularly parks in Geneva lot.

This is just one of many cracks and imperfections on the pavement in the Geneva lot. (Photo by Dhanveer Gill)

The road itself is not in good condition either. There are visible cracks all over the lot and it is not even, meaning that some sedans and coupes jerk wildly as they attempt to cross into the deeper end of the lot. Furthermore, there are some dangerously low hanging power lines on the west side of the parking area that seem to hang lower and lower each passing week. The parking barriers also do not help that much in the first place.

“The parking lot is super run down, it’s also super tight and hard to get out of after school. I usually park either on the side street if I get there early enough or just at Kerr,” said senior Effie Giannoudakos.

Personally, I never park in Geneva anymore. After my car’s paint got scratched while another car tried to back out, I knew that it was not worth it anymore to park here. I would rather parallel park in uptown Chicago during rush hour when compared to risking it in Geneva. I ended up moving to the street across from Entrance B in the morning as I have a zero-hour class, and if that is not available, I park in Kerr McGee.

The power lines on the west side of the lot have very low clearance, about six feet and three inches. (Photo by Dhanveer Gill)

In order to become a decent option for parking, the Geneva lot needs a complete makeover.

It is clear to the district that they need to work on the lot over the summer and clean it up. The asphalt needs to be repaved. Lights need to be installed. Fresh yellow parking lines must be laid in order to make them clearer.

“As part of our facility plan, the lot is expected to be completely redone within the next couple of years,” said Director of Business Services Dan Oberg.

If improving the quality of the Geneva lot proves to be too difficult, then they will need to consider making Kerr McGee a safer option by enforcing basic traffic laws around the lot. A good start would be monitoring Kerr McGee before and after school ends to discourage students from doing donuts, burnouts, and drifts. Additionally, cameras could be installed to catch any dangerous drivers who constantly put other vehicles (and pedestrians) at risk. At the end of the day, the Geneva lot needs a makeover, and it is obvious that it needs now, not in the “next couple of years”.