Student Drivers in Des Moines

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Student Drivers in Des Moines

Here’s an article that will curl you hair. Johnson High School in Des Moines is actually discussing the problem of having too many student drivers and not enough spaces. The students pay $5 A YEAR to park now on campus. There seem to be no spaces available off campus. Well, Duh.

The students are complaining that they have to drive since many come before school and stay after school for extra curricular activities and the buses don’t run then.

I went back in the deep dark reaches of my mind and tried to remember how I survived in high school without a car.  I was a member of every club and activity known to man (except the chess club — could never play that game). We lived about two miles from the school. I walked.

However, many students lived in the country but they still participated. Their parents brought them in early (on their way to work, perhaps) and then picked them up after work, about the time the special activities got finished. Seemed an easy solve to me. And the parents assumed that was their job. You know, to be parents.

Oh the problem is that that the the driving age in Iowa, or the learner permit age, is 15. So many Freshmen are driving to school taking spots usually taken by upper classmen. Why not just give all the spaces to seniors? Raise the Fee to $20 a MONTH. If they can’t afford $20 a month to park, they can’t afford a car.

Then go to the surrounding neighborhoods and tell the people that you are going to sell permits to park in front of their houses at $50 or $100 a month and take the money to clean the streets, put on a few more cops on patrol, and replace the streetlights and repave. My guess is that the neighbors would love it, the kids would pay it, and all would be happy.

Actually the parents who didn’t want to get up and take their kids to Orchestra practice at 6 AM would pay for the parking.

Why does this seem so difficult.

JVH

John Van Horn

John Van Horn

3 Responses

  1. John,
    Minor correction. You can get a permit at 14 in Iowa. My son got his last year the day after his birthday. (Birthday was on a Sunday). Allows them to drive themselves & siblings to/from school by the most direct route. ‘Twas meant for the farm kids but applies to all.
    The problem as I see it is what you suggest is simple and makes “common sense”, but where do you find that these days??

  2. Thanks Scott — I mis spoke a bit – I think the school district was giving spaces at 15.5.
    However, you have to get those thrashing crews working, and 14 year olds driving the trucks that feed America.
    Works for me
    J

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