Parking lot etiquette 101

The unwritten rules of the student parking lot

Natalie Dillivan

More stories from Natalie Dillivan

December 12, 2019


Now, I know this isn’t the dining room table. It’s a parking lot, and who needs to have any manners in a parking lot, right? Wrong. Manners are crucial in almost every public area if one would like to be seen as a halfway-decent human being, which does include the student parking lot.

Que collective groans from the student body. I know I know, no one wants to read about a teenage girl’s depressing rant on the awful drivers in the student parking lot. Rest assured, this will not be one of those times.

I’m simply here to give a few words of advice, and trust me, those of you who are now grounded for the rest of your life because you ran into someone’s little truck one lovely afternoon while watching that pretty girl walk to her car will be eternally grateful.

Let’s start with the basics: Parking. I don’t plan to spend too much time on this subject, however a few things need to be covered. There are white lines spaced evenly throughout the entire parking lot for a reason. They are not there as decoration, or as a method to calm down an OCD pavement worker.

Instead most find them useful in helping them see how close they are to a person’s car, or how terrible at parking they are. I suggest for success rates, you pay attention to the lines in reference to your car and to others’ cars.

The next area of business comes in speed limits. Throughout most parking lots, there is a universal unofficial speed limit. The general public finds that between 5-15 miles per hour is fast enough to get where one needs to go in a timely manner, but leaves enough cushion to stop abruptly when the old grandma decides last minute to back out.

Ironically, the universal speed limit of the Powell High School Student parking lot pushes more thirty. With about 50% of the drivers being novices, you’d think that they would be more cautious when driving, thus driving slower in parking lots. Honestly, I know that you just want to get out of here once that last bell rings, but is an accident really worth it?

My tip is to just take your time in the parking lots, I promise you will make it out of the school, even if you go a little slower than you did the day before. On top of that, you won’t be stuck at home for the rest of your life because you avoided running into the freshman who suddenly stopped.

Also, since the student parking lot is far enough away from the school building that students can actually breathe, most enjoy after school conversations before they leave. However, have you ever noticed the sudden loud compress of air that serves as an interrupter to those relaxing conversations?

I mean, ask yourself this question. What and/or benefits from the reeving of your truck? I completely understand the purpose of it on a long road when you’re going fast: It sounds really cool and makes you envied by all.

However, in a parking lot, there’s really nowhere to go except around in circles. So what is the need of using your lead foot to let out some air in a quick way? A word of advice: Just wait until you’re out of the parking lot, and you’re avoid polluting the air, and keep everyone trying to have a conversation from threatening to slash your tires, which will in turn keep the balance of parking etiquette in line.

I hope that you find these tips to be useful, however if you decide not to replicate parking lot etiquette, there’s nothing I can do to stop you.