San Marin toughens stance on parking enforcement

Students who park on campus are required to purchase a $25 parking permit each school year. [Emma Williams]

In an attempt to keep the school parking lots under control, the San Marin administration has increased parking enforcement with warnings about consequences for students who violate parking policies. The lack of enforcement in years past has prompted stricter parking-related rules this year.

San Marin administration requires students to purchase a $25 parking permit to park in designated student parking lots. In previous years, students have ignored the rule and parked in the parking lots without a permit and have not received any consequences due
to loose enforcement.

“I never bought [parking permits] in years past; this is my first year,” senior Eliza Roesler said, who has been parking in student parking lots since she was a sophomore. “The school did a good job of getting kids to buy them this year.”

Administrators have made it clear that there will be consequences for parking without a permit. A first violation results in a warning, and a second results in a parent notification. Three or more will result in the student’s car being towed. The school has little tolerance for students parking in staff parking spaces. Students who park in spaces
designated for staff members will have their car towed. These proposed consequences have not been approved by the school board yet, so as of now, no cars will be towed.
“We are being strict because we want our students to follow the rules in the parking lot,” Office Administrator Lisa Ferrigno said. “It takes a lot of time and energy to deal with complaints from staff and seniors about others parking in their spaces, so we want to stop that problem.”
There are multiple reasons for why the school requires parking passes. One is to keep the parking lot under control, and the other is to raise money for senior events like Prom. Each year, the senior class participates in an auction to purchase reserved parking spots, and seniors were not allowed to participate in the auction without a parking permit. This year’s senior class raised a total of $7,396 from the 30 parking spots for sale.

In addition to the $25 fee, the administration office requests the car’s make and model as well as the license plate number for their record in case an accident occurs in the parking lot. Staff members have also begun regularly patrolling the parking
lots. School Resource Officer Nick Wagner and campus supervisors Tanya Ruano and Sergio Simonetti have spotted many cars parked in no parking zones, including the dirt hill in front of the tennis courts, next to the fence in front of the softball field and in various fire lanes. Wagner has issued warnings to students that have parked illegally and has even issued a few tickets.

“I’ve been trying to avoid writing tickets,” Wagner said. “I want to give people fair warnings prior to issuing them a citation. If I see it necessary based on a history of them parking incorrectly, then I might write them a citation.”

Wagner, Ruano and Simonetti are also monitoring speed in the parking lot. In years prior, there have been issues with students driving too fast in the parking lots.

“The reason we are being more forceful with [patrolling] this year is for the safety of the
students,” Ruano said. “We had students get hurt, and we had cars be involved in accidents last year,” Ferrigno said. “[Patrol] is really just for safety measures and to keep the parking lots under control.”