WEST LINN, Ore. (KOIN) — As the student population at West Linn High School has grown, the battle for student parking spots has escalated to unusual heights.
Some students even sleep in their cars to get a parking spot at school.
Rory Bialostosky said he did exactly that in his sophomore year. “I parked right here, actually, and I wanted to get a spot. We have commitments,” he told KOIN 6 News. “I do sports broadcasting, so after school I can’t take the bus home. I have to immediately leave to get to the game in time.”
He said there are 277 parking spots at school. “Our senior class is going to be 461 students.”
On some days, he said he parked in a permit zone and ended up getting 4 tickets. That’s why he is pushing the city council to change some of the permit-only spots to allow for public parking.
But West Linn residents don’t like that idea.
“We’ve had a couple incidents where our cars were almost hit. We were almost hit,” Jennifer Davis told KOIN 6 News. “We just feel that there’s been reckless driving, even with permits. Some of our neighbors have loaned out their permits, which leaves a lot of trash on our street that I end up picking up.”
Several students told KOIN 6 News they’ve been paying some homeowners up to $50 a month to park in their private driveway.
“I’m not going to accept that it’s normal for students to fork over money to residents, just like my family,” Bialostosky said. “But I don’t live here. We’re all citizens of this county. They just happen to profit off of students.”
Ashley Rutherford, who lives right near the school, hasn’t let students pay to park in his driveway. He just wants his roads clear.
“I live two blocks from the high school and on Friday nights I can’t park in front of my own house,” Rutherford said.
Kathy Ludwig, the superintendent of the West Linn-Wilsonville School District, had no comment for KOIN 6 News other than to say “this appears to be a city issue.”
The West Linn City Council is discussing the possiblity of changing the zoning.
KOIN 6 News will follow this story.