What’s going on with Parking at Lafayette?

Lexington, KY. The front parking lot at Lafayette High School, where most faculty and staff park.

Mirabel Anderson

Lexington, KY. The front parking lot at Lafayette High School, where most faculty and staff park.

Lafayette High School is home to 2,500 students, as many already know. There are many different ways that these students find their way to school in the morning. Some students walk, some ride the bus, and some even drive. But even with all of these different ways of transportation, have you ever noticed how crowded the parking lot for the students is in the mornings and afternoons? While this may not be an issue for some students, this is a major problem for many seniors and juniors who drive to school.

At the beginning of every school year, there is a raffle for senior parking spots. Every senior can enter to win a parking pass for a spot in front of Lafayette. But there are many more seniors than parking spots for them. There are around 540 seniors at Lafayette this year, and almost all of them can drive, but only 100 parking passes are given out each year.

So what are the other 440 students that don’t win a spot supposed to do? While many of the 440 students that are not given a parking pass find other ways to get to school, the students that decide not to ride the bus, or don’t have the option to ride the bus, have to find a place to park beside the parking lot. Often this is on the street in front of Lafayette or down a side street near the school.

When 2,500 students at Lafayette try to get into the school simultaneously, things can become very congested quickly. Also, our school is located right next to a neighborhood, which means that some of the streets around the school students sometimes use to park at, are already reserved for the neighborhood residents, adding to the parking challenge.

What makes the issue even worse is that it is a growing problem. The freshman classes throughout the years continue to get larger as time goes on. The freshman class of 2020-21 was 665 students; during the year 2021-22, it was 670 students, and this year the class already has 684 students. By next year the freshman class is expected, in total, to be about 700 students. By the time the class of 2023-24 is old enough to drive to school, the parking issue will be even more apparent to the people attending Lafayette than it is now.

Lafayette also has started work behind the school to make the softball field up to code and install a field house. This project is currently causing about half of the back lot to be unavailable to park at. The new field house will take up some of the spots in the back lot, but after the project is complete, about 20 spots will be added to the lot to compensate. Lafayette might end up gaining some more spots than what was there originally.

Even though the struggle to park is a known issue, Lafayette cannot do many things to help. Due to the location and age of the building, it is really hard to have work done on the school, making it difficult to add more parking for students at Lafayette. Although there isn’t much the school itself can do, there is work being done around the school, causing traffic to be worse. So, once road work on and around Clays Mill Road is complete, the traffic around Lafayette may be better, but it still doesn’t help students find more parking.