Stay in Your Lane


Over the years, parking at Brashier has steadily become a problem. Despite the numerous tickets being given, the problem persists (Photo courtesy of Mallory Smith).

The clock strikes 7:57 a.m. and you are sitting at the light in front of Brashier praying for that red light to turn green. Once it does, you whip into the parking lot and are faced with two options. You can either pull into the lower lot where the spots are full and you will have to park in the college spots, being late either way or you can park in the upper lot, barely make the bell, and likely get a ticket. Every single day sophomores and juniors face this dilemma that leaves them distressed and possibly indebted to the college

“The issue that affects both lots is running late. Students will choose to go to the lot [they aren’t supposed to] in order to save time,” said Assistant Principal Trina Freeman.

The problems in the lower lot make juniors and sophomores park in the upper lot. However, if the problems in the lower lot were addressed, juniors and sophomores would be able to park in the designated area. The lack of parking in the lower lot arises from three possible sources: college students, students without stickers, and seniors.

Mallory Smith
Students at Brashier can be ticketed for a few things, such as not parking in the designated area or not having a sticker (Photo courtesy of Mallory Smith).

“On B day Fridays, a lot of times when I get here the lower lot is full, and I have to park in the college spots, but if I park in the upper lot even when the seniors aren’t here I still get a ticket. It’s just really frustrating because I paid for a spot and I don’t get one,” said junior Andrew Frazier.

The first source to this problem is college students parking in the high school lots. Generally within the lower lot, juniors and sophomores are only supposed to park in the two upper tiers of the lower lot, leaving the bottom two to Greenville Technical College students and faculty, in addition to the lot on the other side of the main college building. There is not a set rule that states students have to park here, but it is just the way things have always been done. It has just always made sense for the high school students to park closest to the high school and for the college students to park closest to the college.

“It is rude for the college students to park in our spots because they have a huge lot on the other side. I just don’t understand why they would want to park there because it is so far from the college,” said junior Elizabeth Jensen.

Another source to this lack of parking is students without parking stickers. At the very beginning of the year, high school students and college students both have to buy a sticker that regulates where they park. Seniors have specific green stickers that say “BMC Upper,” while juniors and sophomores have stickers that say, “BMC Lower.” College students have specific stickers that they buy through the college. High school students pay $25 for their stickers, and college students pay a sum to the college for their stickers. When students don’t have stickers, it can possibly frustrate the students who did pay for their stickers. This is could be especially frustrating when students who are sophomores or juniors do not have a sticker and park in the upper lot. Students in the lower lot feel that they paid $25 to walk up a hill, while other students paid nothing and avoid the walk.

“We’ve done a lot better this semester of patrolling the lot. There are still some cars that we are looking at in the upper lot that don’t have stickers. We are trying to figure out who those belong to and what to do about those students. Whether it is a senior who needs to buy a sticker or whether it is a junior or sophomore who needs to buy a sticker and move to the lower lot. We have been tracking tickets a lot better this semester,” said Freeman.

The third source to the lack of adequate parking options are seniors. The seniors at Brashier get visibly upset when there are juniors and sophomores parking in the upper lot because they feel that they earned the right to park in the upper lot. However, these same seniors do not hesitate to park in the lower lot when they have a college class, taking junior and sophomore parking spots. This raises the debate of whether seniors should be allowed to park in the lower lot, since the same courtesy is not allowed to juniors and sophomores in the upper lot.

“I don’t think that seniors should be able to park in the lower lot because they complain about juniors parking in the upper lot. They feel that they should have some benefit, and I agree. I think that as a senior if you want to park up here, you stay parked up here,” said World Geography teacher and upper lot ticketer Joel Perry.

These three combined issues result in a parking mess. One possible solution to this problem is to institute an assigned parking system. At other high schools, such as Woodmont, Hillcrest, and Mauldin, students have a specific spot that they are assigned to at the beginning of the year. At these schools, students rarely, if ever, have problems with parking. By giving students an assigned spot, there is no fear that your spot will be taken, and if someone is parked in the wrong place, they can receive an even bigger fine than the current fine for parking in the wrong place.

“At other schools, their parking tag matches the number space in the lot. The car doesn’t have a sticker but the tag has the sticker. When you go to check the lot, it’s based on the number on the tag [matching] the space. We would number the spots and the tag would match. If the college allowed then we could also match up the spots in the lower lot as well,” said Freeman.

Many students at Brashier are curious as to why assigned parking has not been instituted in the past, and the answer boils down to who owns the lots. Currently, Greenville Technical College owns the property and the building that Brashier is in. The possibility of an assign parking system happening would mean permission from the college and an understanding that the rights of the students to their spots needs to be upheld.

“Assigned spots have never really been considered. The reason we have never looked into that is because we don’t own that property, so we cannot sell the spots because we don’t technically own the rights to [the lower lot or the upper lot]. If we, at some point, did own the property, that could be something we look into. Even if Greenville Tech. might be more willing to discuss assigned spots in the upper lot, but they would probably be less likely to agree to,” said Freeman.

In addition to instituting an assigned parking system, to stop college students from parking in the two upper tiers of the lot, there should be signs installed that state, “High School Parking Only.” Many Greenville Tech students are unaware that they are not supposed to park in the upper two tiers, and by making this clear to those students, they would be less likely to park there.

“I wouldn’t mind an assigned parking system because it would make the parking more uniform. This would help because when freshmen start parking because it wouldn’t cause a whole shuffle of parking and your spot wouldn’t get taken because it is your spot,” said Frazier.

Although Greenville Tech. claims to distribute parking fines, it is very rare for students to actually receive parking tickets. Instead of giving tickets in spurts, if the college was serious about tickets and distributed them regularly, students would follow the rules and these issues would be avoided.

“All I know about the parking situation is that there needs to be a change,” said junior Maggie Rossello.