The Student News Site of Richard Montgomery High School

The Tide

The Student News Site of Richard Montgomery High School

The Tide

The Student News Site of Richard Montgomery High School

The Tide

Hectic parking at Richard Montgomery?

Teachers and students discuss the messy parking situation
Ashna Uprety
Students without parking permits often park their cars on side streets, such as Fleet Street and Mount Vernon Place in the neighborhood behind near RM.

It’s no secret that juniors, seniors and staff members alike feel strongly about the parking situation at Richard Montgomery. While staff members have individual assigned spots, there are only thirty available for seniors. For everyone else, arriving early before school is necessary to secure parking outside of the lot. “After 7:20, like all the spots on the side of the street are…taken,” senior Gabby Mendelsohn said. “[In] the residential part, there are some spots you can find. But it’s still not ideal.”

Like many other students, Mendelsohn parks on Fleet Street, a road parallel to RM with not much free space for parking.

On the other hand, teachers seem to have it easier. English teacher Mrs. Susan Leckie gets to school early and parks in the same spot she’s had for the past 14 years. “I’m lucky,” Mrs. Leckie said. “My neighbors are able to park their vehicles properly within the designated lines.”

Photo by Cindy Jin Parents line up in the parent pick up by the side of school, while students wait outside of the building.

Even with these assigned spots, Foundations of Technology teacher Mr. Chamara Wijeratne believes there is a lot of congestion in the parking lot, especially at the end of the day. “There’s no way to get out,” Mr. Wijeratne said. “I trust everybody…but they’re new…inexperienced drivers.” 

Story continues below advertisement

Mr. Wijeratne shared that he not only feels concerned about students stealing his parking spot, but also breaking into his car. He makes sure that he always locks the door, worried that students check car door handles.

Another obstacle student drivers face are the risks of getting towed and receiving tickets. There are many no-parking signs around RM that reduce the space available. “The first two days I came to school…I got a parking ticket,” junior Sanya Bharti said. “It was all because the seniors who don’t have parking [spots]…park on the street and there’s nowhere to park for the rest of us.” 

The tickets Bharti received totaled to $120, which amounts to the equivalent of around two days of work at her job. 

However, is it really that much better for students in the parking lot? According to parking pass owner senior Zaida Bowsher, the answer is no. “There’s no organization,” Bowsher said. “It’s a mess.”

Bowsher recalls seeing parents breaking traffic laws in order to leave the parking lot faster, causing her, other students and teachers to wait for much longer.

So, what could be different? According to both Mr. Wijeratne and Mendelsohn, a parking lot similar to that of Bethesda Chevy Chase High School with a multi-level garage is the solution. 

To summarize everything, get to school early, learn where to park and avoid restricted areas. “If I was giving advice to [parents], I would probably say, ‘Make sure you drop your students off at a place where they can get into the building without having to cross the road or traffic,’” Mrs. Leckie said. “All you need is one inattentive driver and that won’t work out well.”

More to Discover
About the Contributors
Christiana Vucea, Graphics Editor
Christiana Vucea is a senior and an editor for the graphics section this year! She has been doing graphics since freshman year and is excited for new features coming to the Tide this year. When she’s not doodling something, she can be found either sleeping or stressing over physics homework.
Hillary Opoku, News Writer
Meet Hillary! She's a sophomore and one of the News Writers for the RM Tide, originally from West Africa. Hillary is passionate about creative writing and loves to write poems. In fact, she's also a beat contributor for features. When she's not writing, Hillary enjoys solving math equations and taking on new challenges, watching movies or scrolling on Pinterest because she loves slow fashion.