The County Chronicle

The online newspaper for Loudoun County High School

The County Chronicle

The County Chronicle

Parking shortage creates problems for students

Sally Stimpson | Raider Staff

Since Loudoun County High School opened in 1954, the school has continued to grow along with the surrounding community. Over the years, the school has undergone expansions to accommodate the growing student population, but one thing the school cannot expand is its parking lot.

Previously at LCHS there were 260 parking permits sold to student drivers, but this year there are only 245 available spaces due to the addition of a drill deck for JROTC, per the contract with the Navy.


Students and staff compete to find parking at LCHS after losing spaces to JROTC’s drill deck. Raider Staff Photographer: Robert Wertz


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With only 245 available spots and a student population of over 1400, it is impossible for every student driver at LCHS to obtain a spot at school. Furthermore, it can be difficult for students to afford permits as they cost $100 per semester.

For those students who are unable to obtain a parking permit but still want to drive to school, parking in nearby neighborhoods and streets is their only option. However, this has been made difficult in recent years as many neighborhoods have been requesting permit parking. Catoctin Chase, a neighborhood next to LCHS, was one of many to approve permit parking in 2017 after years of problems.

Catoctin Chase resident Nicolle Robinson reported that she witnessed students speeding, littering, blocking driveways, and creating problems for the neighborhood as they parked there for school. “It was not safe here during dismissal with the volume of students parking and trying to get out,” she said.

With problems like this prompting nearby residential areas to request permit-only parking, many students have been left struggling to find parking. Senior Sophia Dinman experienced this challenge last year as she got her license during second semester. “Since I got my license during the second half of the year, I couldn’t purchase a parking permit and would have to park nearby. Sometimes, it took forever to find a spot and I would have to walk awhile to get to school,” Dinman said.

Dinman said she was always well-mannered when parking in neighborhoods.“I never left trash or sped through neighborhoods, but I did see some students creating problems.”

Robinson also said that when parking in Catoctin Chase, “Most students were respectful and were just looking for a place to park without paying the $200 fee. I understand that. However, some students were not respectful.”

As a few students continue to disrespect nearby residential areas, more and more neighborhoods are applying for permit parking. This trend is making it increasingly difficult for students at LCHS to find parking neighboring the school and is creating a high demand for student parking permits.

With a parking shortage at LCHS, many students are competing to find parking nearby. This problem is not one that can easily be fixed as parking was not planned for when the school was built. “Those who have a need should get first priority and would be required to carpool. Those who live in the surrounding neighborhoods would be at the bottom of the priority list,” Robinson said.

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Parking shortage creates problems for students