New parking restrictions limit options for students

Cars parked on Carolan Avenue must now be moved by 4 p.m. in accordance with new city signage.

Cars parked on Carolan Avenue must now be moved by 4 p.m. in accordance with new city signage.

In a notice sent to all students in November of this school year, Fred Wolfgramm, Burlingame’s Dean of Students, informed students of the four places students who do not posses a valid school parking permit can park. Students legally can park along the south fence near the baseball field, along the street on Carolan Avenue, in the north lot on Oak Grove Avenue, or on any of the side streets along the perimeter of the school. An additional email delivered in early March further restricted parking on Carolan Avenue, one of the aforementioned zones outlined by Wolfgramm. This notice alerted students that the Burlingame Police Department will begin “ticketing cars parked on both sides of Carolan Avenue in front of school after 4 p.m.”

Sophomore Drew Smith says he now leaves to drive to school earlier than required because “there is often no parking available and the spots that are [available] are usually a long walk away.” For Smith, his previous choice spots were along Carolan Avenue. The new restrictions coincided with the beginning of lacrosse season, and games that require an early release or a start time immediately after school do not allow Smith and other athletes to move their vehicles. Otherwise, they run the risk of being ticketed by the city.

Officially, Carolan Avenue has a two-hour limit on parking according to the signs that were installed by the Police Department prior to the announcement delivered through School Loop. Students have not been advised not to park in strict accordance with the two-hour limit but have to move the cars after school ends. Wolfgramm said he has “no knowledge of any students being ticketed with the two-hour limit being referenced because clearly, a student cannot comply.”

With the exception of off-campus options, there are roughly 50 spaces available to students who do not posses a parking pass. Almost half of these spaces are in the lot on Oak Grove Avenue. This lot is in close vicinity to the pool, which is used by adult participants in the Burlingame Aquatics Masters Swim program. Practices for this program do not end until 8:15 a.m., 15 minutes after the start of first period, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The option that is often turned to by students is parking in the surrounding residential neighborhoods. The school has not explicitly discouraged students from street parking in front of houses, but two emails sent in February claimed that “illegally parked vehicles may be ticketed” by the Burlingame Police Department if the cars parked along the street violate a city ordinance. Wolfgramm said in the past “there have been some issues with neighbors complaining about students parking” but when students are cordial and follow all parking ordinances residential parking remains the primary option for students with no permit. Dean Wolfgramm said that he has thought “that students should be able to park along the softball field” in spaces currently designated for staff. Wolfgramm said that “often, [the spaces] are not filled, and students park in those spots anyway.” Wolfgramm said that “staff spots have been added in reaction to the increase in student population and in in turn more staff.” The construction of the F building, which borders the student lot, has also resulted in a loss of student spaces. The administration does enforce the regulations, reportedly “on a weekly basis” depending on other responsibilities.

On-campus parking is limited to students that have permits. Permits are reserved solely for seniors and allocated through a lottery system. Juniors and sophomores are limited to off-campus options.

Posted on April 25, 2017 .