Roosevelt Student Drivers Struggle With Rising Gas Prices and Changes In Parking


Camryn French

Roosevelt is home to numerous student drivers, many of whom face constant challenges and adjustments that come with the new responsibility. Whether it be dealing with the rise in gas prices, having to adapt to new parking regulations, or becoming comfortable with driving to school in general, most student drivers—especially more recently—have been overwhelmed with a lot of the changes and some have even voiced their concern. 

In regards to the rise of gas prices in March 2022, according to CNN, the national average for regular gas “topped out at a nominal record $4.33 a gallon” as a result of “the war in Ukraine [which] drove fears of major disruptions to supplies from Russia, the world’s largest oil exporter.” As gas prices soared, seemingly by the day, so did student anxiety over how to cover the cost.

Senior Kareem Adesada only drives to school sometimes, and even though he doesn’t pay for his own gas he noted that “sometimes my mom doesn’t let me go out” because of how expensive gas has become. On the other hand, senior Camryn Briscoe drives her own car and is responsible for paying for her own gas but tends to “wait until the last minute to fill up because I don’t want to pay and I’m broke.” 

Jeremy Silver, a senior who drives his own car to school, said that it costs him “$120 just to fill it up” and added that “it’s ridiculous.” Senior Anthony Romero had a more optimistic attitude toward the rise in prices, however, saying that the increase “sucks but what can I do? I need it and can still afford it.” Senior Luca Pedone shared a similar sentiment saying that it sucks but “I understand enough about what’s going on in the world to know why they’re rising.” Senior Tien Coney joked “the gas prices make me want to get a Tesla.” For student drivers, gas is often a recurrent payment because of the distance and amount of times students drive themselves from home to school.

Senior Kyle Krieger said that he loves driving to school as it “gives me a sense of responsibility and it is just so nice to be able to get to school and leave school on my own schedule, as opposed to having to rely on the school bus and/or a family member.” Senior Bisola Adeoye finds that driving to school can be a hassle with “trying to get to school on time and not meet the bus rush traffic pulling in [to the school].” Junior Cameron Taylor drives his own car and feels good about driving to school adding “I have been driving for about 2+ years and I pay attention on the road.” Senior Rebekah Pase spoke of how convenient driving on her own is because she “play[s] sports after school and it saves time because [her] bus stop is the first one to get picked up and the last one to get dropped off.” 

Lastly, students were introduced to a new parking regulation that mandated that students would have to begin parking in the visitors parking lot (in front of the main entrance of the school opposed to the side entrance of the school) starting April 25th. Reactions were pretty mixed with many students opposing the new regulation altogether. 

Many students feel as though the size of the visitors parking lot is not big enough to accommodate the wide range of student drivers. Senior Jiovanni Lima spoke on this saying “it’s a smaller lot and I drive a big truck so it’s hard to park.” Senior Nicholas Seecharan noted that he felt that the new parking situation is dumb in his opinion but added “There are far more students than teachers so we need more parking spaces…I feel like we deserve to get the parking spots near the temps.”

Pase also spoke on this point in regards to lack of space, among other points, passionately venting, “The traffic has multiplied. It’s difficult to find a good spot because there’s whole lines of traffic. The parking lot wasn’t designed for students to park there, it was originally a visitors parking lot. It increases the risk of accidents and it’s also not timely because it makes people late.” She discussed how because she has an injury, parking farther away from the school isn’t convenient for her on that aspect. She ended by saying “We pay $20 to park and so we should be guaranteed a spot.”

Taylor is part of the fewer number of juniors who drive to school so he experiences the larger volume of students and bus traffic at the end of the day, opposed to at the end of the half day when seniors typically leave. He says “It’s so hard for people to get out of the parking lot after school because we have to wait for the buses and the kids crossing the road.” He later added “It’s also much harder to access our vehicles during the day. I think admin is doing a terrible job especially when threatening students that their car will be towed.” 

As stated before, the new parking lot changes were put into place in the final week of April, so many students had issues with the timing of such a regulation. Krieger said that he believes that the new procedure was implemented way too late in the school year. He elaborated saying “I understand what they were trying to do, but seniors only had like three weeks left at the time of the decision.” Coney suggested that they “could’ve waited until the seniors left or next school year.” 

Finally, administrators and security guards were tasked with enforcing the new parking lot changes and were often found outside on the lots during the first few days to ensure a smooth transition and to prevent students from ignoring the mandate. Pedone acknowledged that while he doesn’t really like the decision, he “totally understand[s] why admin made that decision.” Similarly, Romero said that while the new parking sucks, “security and admin are just doing what they are told and making sure everyone is doing what they are supposed to be doing.” Many students agreed that despite their dislike for the new change, they respected the way administration and security handled the enforcement of the situation.

Despite the challenges, most students haven’t been driving for more than a couple of years at most and have found it to be a convenient and more independent alternative to other options for getting to school.